Body of kidnapped toddler found still strapped in her car seat, prosecutor reveals

Pennsylvania authorities said the suspect, who has yet to be charged with a homicide, is the only one involved in the little girl's death.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By David K. Li

The body of a kidnapped toddler was discovered earlier this week by first-responders still strapped in her car seat outside of Pittsburgh, prosecutors said on Thursday.

When Nalani Johnson was found on Tuesday afternoon in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, she was still buckled into the same car seat she was using when the toddler was snatched from her dad on Saturday, officials said.

There were no signs of trauma on Nalani's body, but her death was still ruled a homicide, authorities said. The little girl was dead before her body and car seat were dropped off in a wooded area, prosecutors said.

Nalani Johnson was abducted in Penn Hills, Pa., on Aug. 31, 2019.Allegheny County Police Department

"Although the cause and manner of death for Nalani Johnson are pending further test results by the Indiana County Coroner, the expectation is that the manner of death will be homicide," according to a joint statement by prosecutors from Indiana and Allegheny Counties.

Sharena Islam Nancy, 25, of Penn Hills, was arrested Saturday night and charged with kidnapping a minor, interference with custody of children and concealment of the whereabouts of a child.

Nancy was out with Nalani’s father — her on-again, off-again boyfriend Paul Johnson, 21 — on Saturday when she allegedly drove away with the toddler at about 5 p.m. from the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills.

Nancy, who has not been charged with homicide yet, is the only person believed to be involved in Nalani's death, according to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala.