Missing Toddler Found Dead in Western Pennsylvania

BURRELL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The body of missing toddler Nalani Johnson has been found in western Pennsylvania, according to investigators.

An Amber Alert was issued Saturday when police say Johnson was abducted, and crews have been searching for her since.

Investigators say Johnson's body was discovered in Pine Ridge Park in Burrell Township, Indiana County Tuesday afternoon.

A woman is in custody in the case after Nalani's father, Paul Johnson, said a driver abducted his daughter on Saturday evening in Penn Hills, according to police documents and a news release.

Paul Johnson said he was riding in a car with Lyft and Uber stickers with his daughter and two friends, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Allegheny County police.

The driver of the car was Sharena Nancy, 25, a woman with whom Johnson was in the beginning of an "intermittent romantic relationship" with, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said at a press conference Tuesday.

The couple became acquainted over social media in the past few months and spent several hours together with Johnson's daughter and another friend on Saturday, before an argument ensued while the woman was driving, McDonough said.

While police did not elaborate on the details of the argument, McDonough said it was significant enough that Johnson and his other friend decided to exit the car.

Johnson said that when he got out of the car and went to get his daughter out of the car seat, the driver drove away with the toddler, the complaint said.

Johnson told detectives he tried calling the driver's cellphone multiple times, but she never picked up, so he called 911.

Police arrested Nancy, 25, in the vehicle during a traffic stop later that evening but did not find the child inside, the complaint said.

According to court documents, Nancy told police Johnson was sold by her father for $10,000.

McDonough said Tuesday they have no evidence to corroborate Nancy's version of events, adding that Johnson and his family have been cooperative with the ongoing investigation.

Nancy is behind bars, charged with kidnapping of a minor, interference with custody of children, and concealment of whereabouts of a child. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 16.

An autopsy on Johnson is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

CNN Wire contributed to this report.

11 comments

  • JohnnyPoconos

    Another good example of all the nuts online. Be careful meeting people on social media sites. This woman killed that child because she was rejected by the father after he got to know her some. I once put a ad on Craigslist to rent a room in my home and all kinds of lowlife weirdos tried to move in. I never rented the room. Be careful online.

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