A former Pennsylvania rideshare driver previously charged with kidnapping in connection with the disappearance and death of Pennsylvania toddler has now been charged with the little girl’s murder.
Investigators believe that Sharena Nancy, 25, abducted Nalani Johnson on Aug. 31, killed her and then left her body in a park. The toddler’s body was found days later, still strapped into her car seat. She was just shy of her second birthday.
While it was reported previously that investigators said the toddler had no signs of visible trauma on her body and it was possible she died of dehydration, a coroner ruled last week that she died of homicide, KDKA in Pittsburgh reports.The coroner’s report noted abrasions and cuts on the child’s face as well as a yellowish and unidentified substance inside of her stomach.
"Nalani was deceased when she was left in the Pine Ridge Park,” the coroner’s report, obtained by Pittsburgh Action News, states. It concludes “that Nalani's cause of death was homicidal violence of unknown etiology."
Nancy, previously charged with kidnapping and concealing the whereabouts of a child and interference with custody of children, was charged Friday with murder and abuse of a corpse, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. She's being held without bail.
She allegedly sped off with the girl after an argument with the girl’s father, Paul Johnson. While initial reports suggested Nancy was working as an Uber of Lyft driver and that she met the father and daughter while giving them a ride, it was later reported that the two had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship.
When Nancy was first arrested, before Nalani was found dead, she allegedly told police that Johnson had sold his child for $10,000 to an unidentified party and she acted as a courier to deliver Nalani to them. Johnson's family vehemently denied that allegation and authorities reiterated that Johnson has not been implicated in the case and does not appear to be involved in Nalani's death.
A spokesperson for Lyft previously told CNN that Nancy has been banned from driving for their app. Both Uber and Lyft said she was not working when the incident happened.
It’s not clear if Nancy has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf at this time.
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