Entertainment And News

Rideshare Driver Accused Of Kidnapping 2-Year-Old Claims Girl's Father Sold Her Into Slavery

Photo: mugshot/police
Who is Sharena Islam Nancy? New Details On The Ride Share Driver Accused Of Kidnapping 2-Year-Old In Pennsylvania

When a child goes missing, there are usually only a handful of hours to really make the difference. It's the hours right after the child vanishes that are the most critical. Very often this time can mean the difference between a child being found and reunited with their family or tragically never being seen again. Who is Sharena Islam Nancy? She's a ride share driver who was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Nalani Johnson, age 2. Now, Nalani's body has been found. Read on for all the updated details. 

1. Sharena Islam Nancy

Sharena Islam Nancy, 25, stands charged of kidnapping Nalani Johnson, a 2-year-old little girl who vanished from her home in Pennsylvania. Though Sharena has been apprehended and is awaiting arraignment in jail after being charged with various crimes (including concealment of the whereabouts of a child and kidnapping), Nalani is still missing in a case that is as strange as it is difficult to understand. After arresting Sharena, the Alleghany County Police reported that: "The driver of the Toyota Yaris sedan involved in this incident, Sharena Islam Nancy, is lodged in the Allegheny County jail awaiting arraignment after being charged."

RELATED: David Sparks Arrested In Connection With Murder Of Kentucky Mom Savannah Spurlock — Whose Body Was Just Found

2. The FBI Is Involved 

Sharena isn't being forthcoming about where Nalani is located. Apparently, she told the local police when they asked that Nalani's own father: "Sold Nalani to someone else for $10,000 and Nancy was to drive the girl 20 minutes from a gas station in Monroeville along Route 22.” But the weirdness doesn't end there. According to Sharena, she handed over the girl to two other women driving a silver SUV with out of state plates. Now the local authorities have gotten the FBI involved. “The Allegheny County Police, FBI and the PA State Police will continue to vigorously investigate this matter to determine the whereabouts of Nalani Johnson. Again, we ask anyone who may have seen anything of interest in this matter to contact the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477). Callers can remain anonymous. We can also be reached via our social media sites,” they said. 

3. Nalani's Father's Role 

According to the Penn Hill Police, it was Nalani's father who contacted them about his little girl being abducted. “The father explained that his two-year-old daughter was abducted by a female and that female fled in a car with the child. The Penn Hills Police requested the assistance of the Child Abduction Response Team (CART) and an Amber Alert was issued. CART is comprised of FBI agents and Allegheny County Police detectives. They responded and initiated an investigation. The female alleged to have abducted the child, and her car was located shortly after and she is currently in the company of investigators," said police. Paul Johnson, Nalani's father, claims that he was in a car with Nalani and Sharena, but that when he got out of the car, he took off and that's when he called the police.

RELATED: Who Is Caitlan Coleman? New Details On Wife Of American Taliban Supporter Joshua Boyle Who Was Kept Captive For Five Years And Abused By Him

4. Uber And Lyft Speak Out 

According to Sharena's husband Raihan Uddin, his wife was working as a ride share driver on the Saturday night when Nalani vanished. Raihan said that while he and his wife spoke that night, she made no mention of any child. When reporters began reaching out to Uber and Lyft they received statements from both ride share giants. Uber simply said that she was not working on the night in question, while Lyft took a more human approach issuing a statement that read: “While this incident did not happen on the Lyft platform, these allegations are deeply disturbing. The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and we have permanently banned this individual from driving with Lyft.”

5. Standing By Sharena

Sharena is currently alone in this country, her husband and her own young daughter live in India after he was deported. They tied the knot in 2018, and according to local news sources, she works hard to send money back to them. Her husband is staunchly defending his wife, claiming that they were on the phone for most of the night, and that while they weren't connected by video, they were connected by audio means and he didn't hear or see anything unusual during the night in question. Currently, Sharena is being held at the Allegheny County Jail

RELATED: Who Is Kellen Winslow Jr.? New Details On The EX-NFL Player Who's Facing 8 Rape And Kidnapping Charges

6. Looking For Nalani 

While Sharena has never been arrested on charges like this before, she does have a record which includes traffic offenses and one charge of reckless driving that was later dismissed. The police are desperate to get Nalani back home and have issued the following brief for those on the hunt for the toddler: “The abduction occurred at the intersection of Bryant Road and Prescott Road in Penn Hills. Through the course of the investigation, it has been determined that the female drove to Monroeville shortly thereafter. The car was spotted near the intersection of Route 48 and Route 22 at approximately 5:13 PM yesterday. The child’ name is Nalani Johnson. She is described as a black female with a light complexion, who will be two years old in September. She has short curly black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black shirt and a skirt with a floral pattern and black sandals. She is of average height and weight for a child that age and goes by the nickname ‘Mooh.'

7. Her body found

On Tuesday, September 3, local authorities found two-year-old Nalani Johnson's body in a state park in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. No one has been charged in her death as of this writing. 

8. Her mother filed a restaining order against Nalani's father

In April, Nalani's mother Gladys Duarte filed a temporary restraining order against Paul Johnson and claimed that he "admitted to almost killing" Nalani. Duarte also accused that Johnson ripped Nalani's photos off the wall, stole her food and shoes. She alleged that Johnsn held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself while Nalani sat with him in his car. He was also accused of pulling a gun on Duarte's sister as she tried to protect Nalani and threatened to kill Duarte and anyone she is with. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.