Uber kidnapping: Missing toddler found dead in park after allegedly being taken by rideshare driver

The Pennsylvania toddler who was allegedly kidnapped by an Uber driver was found dead Tuesday evening, according to Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV.

Nalani Johnson, who had been missing since Saturday, was found in a park in Blairsville, Pa., about 40 miles east from where she was originally taken.

Sharena Nancy, a 25-year-old Uber driver, was already being held in jail on charges that she kidnapped the 2-year-old girl. Authorities have not yet said whether she is a suspect in the girl's murder.

"We believe that she is involved. To what extent, that is still being determined," Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said of the case. 

The alleged kidnapping took place around 5 p.m. on Saturday evening, while Nalani's father, Paul Johnson, was riding in Nancy's vehicle when they stopped at an intersection. Johnson told police that as he was exiting the car — which was marked with both Uber and Lyft stickers — Nancy sped off with his daughter. 

Nancy was arrested just a few hours after the alleged incident, but Nalani was nowhere to be found. Police interrogated Nancy, and she gave a very different story than Johnson's.

In her version, Johnson sold his daughter to an unnamed individual for $10,000 and asked her to help him finish the transaction. Police have yet to determine exactly what motivated the alleged kidnapping, but authorities said they believe Johnson and Nancy may have also been romantically involved and that Nancy was more than just his Uber driver.

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Nalani Johnson: Photos from the Uber kidnapping case
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Nalani Johnson: Photos from the Uber kidnapping case
Taji Walsh, Nalani Johnson's grandmother, left, wipes away tears as Coleman McDonough, county police superintendent, center, and Chad Yarbrough, Federal Bureau of Investigation's assistant special agent, right, take questions from reporters during a briefing on the disappearance of her granddaughter Nalani Johnson, at Allegheny County Courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Pittsburgh. Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the body of Johnson, who was to turn 2 this month, was found in Pine Ridge Park in Blairsville, east of Penn Hills, where authorities allege the girl was kidnapped Saturday evening. (Michael M. Santiago/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty speaks at a press conference after the body of missing toddler Nalani Johnson was found in Pine Ridge Park in Blairsville, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Dougherty said the body of Johnson, who was to turn 2 this month, was found in the park in Blairsville, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) east of Penn Hills, where authorities allege the girl was kidnapped Saturday evening. An autopsy was planned Wednesday to determine the cause and manner of death, he said. (Christian Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
First responders survey the scene where the body of missing toddler Nalani Johnson was found in Pine Ridge Park in Blairsville, Pa., on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the body of Johnson, who was to turn 2 this month, was found in the park in Blairsville, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) east of Penn Hills, where authorities allege the girl was kidnapped Saturday evening. An autopsy was planned Wednesday to determine the cause and manner of death, he said. (Christian Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Nalani Johnson
A memorial to missing toddler Nalani Johnson, a 1-year-old from Penn Hills, who was reported missing over the weekend is displayed by a tree in Pine Ridge Park, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Blairsville, Pa. Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the body of Johnson, who was to turn 2 this month, was found in Pine Ridge Park in Blairsville, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) east of Penn Hills, where authorities allege the girl was kidnapped Saturday evening. An autopsy was planned Wednesday to determine the cause and manner of death, he said. (Christian Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
CORRECTS THE LOCATION TO MONROEVILLE, NOT PITTSBURGH - Aujah Johnson, 17, tapes a missing person flyer to the entrance of the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pa., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, while searching for Nalani Johnson, her 1-year-old niece from Penn Hills, Pa., who was reported missing since Saturday. A woman accused of driving off with the toddler as the child's father got out of the car has alleged the father told her to deliver the baby to another woman because he had "sold" his daughter, authorities said Monday. (Christian Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Malia Fowler, left, and Chanel Thomas put up a missing person flyer in the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pa., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, while searching for Nalani Johnson, her 1-year-old niece from Penn Hills, Pa., who was reported missing since Saturday. A woman accused of driving off with the toddler as the child's father got out of the car has alleged the father told her to deliver the baby to another woman because he had "sold" his daughter, authorities said Monday. (Christian Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
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Nalani's cause of death is still unknown, but state police are collaborating with the FBI to investigate the case.

"This is not the outcome that any of us would have wished. We will continue to keep the Johnson family in our thoughts," Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said in a Facebook post Tuesday evening.

Nancy’s husband, Raihan Uddin, told WTAE that he video-chatted with his wife Saturday evening and that she didn't say anything about Nalani or a kidnapping.

"She has me on the dashboard, so I mean I saw the car — the whole thing," Uddin said. "She called the video off, but I still could hear her."

Before Nalani's body was found, Uddin told the station he wasn't sure about his wife's level of involvement.

"I don't know if she did or if she didn't," he told WTAE. "One part of me believes that she can. Another part is like — nothing's been found. It has to be solved and you can't make conclusions."

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