A 2-year-old girl was found dead in a park near Pittsburgh, 3 days after she was kidnapped by a rideshare driver who claimed the girl’s father sold the child to another woman for $10,000.
Nalani Johnson's body was found on Tuesday at Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County near Pittsburgh, police say.
On Monday, police filed kidnapping charges against Sharena Nancy, 25, according to KDKA. She will also be charged with murder.
Police say Nancy is in a relationship with the 2-year-old's father, Paul Johnson.
Nancy told police the baby's father instructed her to drop the child off with another woman after he sold her for $10,000. But Johnson denies the allegation.
Just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, Johnson called police. He was "crying and visibly upset" when police arrived.
He told police that he and his daughter were in Nancy's vehicle, a Toyota Yaris with Uber and Lyft stickers on the windshield. A "friend" was also in the car.
He said Nancy drove approximately 20 miles south along route 22 to Blairsville, Indiana County. At the intersection of Bryant and Clay Drives in Penn Hills, police say Johnson told them the vehicle stopped so he could get out, but when he went to reach for his daughter, Nancy drove off with Nalani still strapped in her child safety seat.
He said he called Nancy's cell phone repeatedly but she never answered.
Nancy was stopped by a Penn Hills police officer around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The toddler and her car seat were not in the car. Nancy was arrested and charged with kidnapping.
She told police that the girl’s father sold Nalani to another woman for $10,000 and Nancy was to drive the girl "20 minutes from a gas station in Monroeville along Route 22."
She said she turned the child and the car seat over to the unidentified woman.
The FBI's Child Abduction Response Deployment team joined local police in the search for Nalani.
Johnson's mother Taji Walsh denied Nancy's claim that her son was involved in his daughter's disappearance. "We don’t know her personally," Walsh said, adding that her son would not be walking around free if he was somehow involved.
An autopsy will be performed on Nalani to determine the cause and manner of death.