An accused kidnapper has claimed that the child’s father sold the little girl for $10,000, according to reports.
After being arrested and charged for the kidnapping of two-month-old Nalani Johnson on Saturday, Sharena Nancy, 25, told police that the child’s father, Paul Johnson, sold his daughter for $10,000 and instructed her to take the little girl to a woman who would keep her.
However, Johnson has denied the allegations and told reporters he declined to comment further.
Reports said Nancy, a rideshare driver in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, drove away with the child in the backseat once Johnson had exited the vehicle at the intersection of Bryant and Clay Drives on Saturday.
“Nalani’s father, Paul Johnson, told cops he had left Nancy’s car at that intersection and when he went to retrieve his daughter, Nancy allegedly drove off,” according to a criminal complaint. “He said he tried calling Nancy’s phone but she didn’t answer, and then he called police, who issued an Amber Alert.”
Nancy was pulled over by police around 7:30 p.m. that evening, but reports said the child was not inside the car.
Nancy claimed Johson told her to drive the child “20 minutes from a gas station in Monroeville along Route 22,” where she reportedly met a woman standing beside a silver SUV. She said there was a second woman inside the vehicle, and added that the SUV had out-of-state license plates.
Nancy told police she then handed the child over to the woman along with the car seat and drove away.
However, authorities said there is no evidence of the two women or the silver SUV, according to CNN.
On Monday evening, Johnson’s friends and family held a prayer vigil for the little girl at Cribbs Field in Verona.
“I believe other than searching, we should go to Him and ask Him to help lead authorities, to guide them. The family: to comfort them and give them peace during this time,” said James Grantz, a member of the Johnson’s congregation.
Johnson’s mother, Taji Walsh, told reporters she believes Nancy made up the entire story.
“The things that she indicated in her arrest record, which is public knowledge, are unfounded,” Walsh said, adding that if her son were involved in the kidnapping “he wouldn’t be walking freely, he’d be locked somewhere up like [Nancy] is.”
Officials have asked anyone with information leading to the child’s whereabouts to call the Allegheny County tip line: 1-833-ALL-TIPS.