PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Police say the father of a missing Penn Hills toddler and the woman charged with kidnapping her were in a romantic relationship.

Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough held a news conference Tuesday afternoon with FBI Pittsburgh officials and 2-year-old Nalani Johnson’s grandmother.

WATCH: Allegheny County Police-FBI Joint News Conference —


During the news conference, McDonough said Nalani and her father, Paul Johnson, were not in Sharena Nancy’s vehicle for an arbitrary Uber or Lyft ride.

“Sharena Nancy and Paul Johnson became acquainted intermittently over the last few months, so they were known to each other,” McDonough said. “They were friends; they were in the beginnings of an intermittent romantic relationship.”

McDonough says the pair, along with Nalani and one of Johnson’s friends spent several hours together Saturday afternoon.

“We believe that an argument ensued at approximately 5 p.m. or so. Mr. Johnson and Mr. [Justin] Rouse (Johnson’s friend) exited the vehicle with the intention of taking Nalani with them when Ms. Nancy pulled away with the child in the vehicle,” said McDonough.

Nancy was arrested later Saturday evening, but Nalani was nowhere to be found. Her car seat was gone as well.

Police say they have one story from Johnson and another from Nancy, which they are working to verify.

“A lot of our investigation is trying to corroborate one version with the other,” said McDonough.

(Source: Allegheny County Police)

(Source: Allegheny County Police)

Police, on Monday, filed kidnapping and other related charges against Nancy.

According to investigators, after taking off with Nalani, Nancy’s 2017 black Toyota Yaris with Lyft and Uber stickers on the front passenger-side windshield drove east on Route 22, all the way to the Blairsville, Indiana County, area. She was stopped around 7:30 p.m. along Rodi Road by a Penn Hills Police officer.

(Source: Allegheny County Police)


As authorities continue the search for missing Nalani, they are asking people to to be on the lookout for her missing car seat, a black and gray Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Seat. Nalani was last seen wearing a black shirt and a skirt with a floral pattern and black sandals. She goes by the nickname, Mooh.

Police are also asking business owners along the Route 22 corridor to review their surveillance camera footage from over the Labor Day Weekend. Nancy was caught on video at the Sheetz on Penn Highway in Murrysville.

(Source: Allegheny County Police)

(Source: Allegheny County Police)

The particular time frame business owners should look for relevant video is from 5:23 p.m. until 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, police say.

Anyone with information on Nalani’s disappearance is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477).