PITTSBURGH — An Amber Alert was issued Saturday, Aug. 31 for 2-year-old Nalani Johnson. A woman was arrested and charged with kidnapping the toddler. Meanwhile, Johnson’s family was at a loss.
On Sunday, Sept. 1, Taji Walsh, Johnson’s grandmother, visited the FedEx store in Monroeville, Pennsylvania — busy getting flyers made, hopeful they would help find her granddaughter.
“I’m just feeling helpless, and just at a loss,” said Walsh.
Walsh, other family members, and volunteers focused their search efforts in the Del Monte, Westmoreland County area — near where police said Sharena Nancy allegedly handed the child over to another woman.
“People would just go to the different local communities in that area and, you know, look for her, and pass out flyers to businesses people’s door,” said Walsh.
Nancy was taken to the Allegheny County Jail on kidnapping charges.
According to a criminal complaint, Nancy told police Paul Johnson, the 2-year-old girl’s father, sold her to an unnamed individual for $10,000.
Nancy told police she handed the girl over to two women in a silver SUV that had out-of-state plates. She claimed the handover took place along Route 22, where she found the SUV parked on the berm of the road with its flashers on.
Walsh said her son doesn’t even know Nancy, who is an Uber driver, and claimed the allegations she made against her son simply weren’t true.
If the police felt that PJ was any way involved, he wouldn’t be walking freely,” said Walsh. “He would be, you know, locked up somewhere like she is.”
The family offered a reward for information leading to the return of Nalani Johnson — and the FBI was investigating as searches continued to find the toddler.