Father of Pennsylvania girl found dead in park was in 'romantic relationship' with female suspect, say police
Sharena Nancy, 25, was formally charged with criminal homicide late last week in the death of 2-year-old Nalini Johnson
Almost two months ago, police recovered the remains of a missing two-year-old Nalini Johnson from a Pennsylvania park. Now, authorities have charged her father's alleged lover with her death.
Sharena Nancy, 25, was formally charged with criminal homicide late last week, according to a statement from Allegheny County Police. She also faces a new charge of abuse of a corpse, People reports.
The remains of Nalani, who was reported missing on August 31, were found three days later in a public park located in Blairsville.
Police had located Nancy hours earlier and charged her with Nalani's alleged kidnapping, interference with custody of children, and concealment of the whereabouts of a child.
However, coroners would later rule the girl's death as a homicide.
Police believe Nancy abducted Nalani and eventually left her alone in Pine Ridge Park.
Detectives revealed early on in their investigation that, in the months leading up to the toddler's abduction and death, Nalani's father had become romantically involved with Nancy.
“Sharena Nancy and Paul Johnson became acquainted intermittently over the last few months — so they were known to each other,” Superintendent McDonough said at a news conference. “They were friends, they were in the beginnings of an intermittent romantic relationship.”
At the time, Nalani's father told authorities he was in a cab driven by Nancy—along with his daughter and a friend—when they stopped at an intersection to exit the vehicle. He said Nancy drove off with his daughter as soon as he stepped out of the car. When he tried to reach Nancy on the phone, she did not respond.
Police apprehended her in nearby Monroeville shortly after, but Nalani was nowhere to be found at the time.
During interrogation, Nancy told authorities that Nalani's father had asked her to take his daughter to an “unnamed individual” who bought her for $10,000, and that she dropped off the child with a person driving a silver SUV with an out-of-state license plate.
“Nancy will remain in the Allegheny County Jail and be arraigned on the new charges,” a police statement read.
While the statement does not explain the manner of little Nalini's death, authorities have asked anyone with information pertinent to the case to contact them at (833) ALL-TIPS.