ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (WPMT) -- Authorities believe they have a good case against the woman accused of kidnapping 23-month-old Nalani Johnson, whose death is expected to be ruled a homicide.
Sharena Nancy, 25, is already in custody on charges of kidnapping of a minor, interference with the custody of children and concealment of whereabouts of a child.
Nalani was allegedly kidnapped Saturday and her body was found in a park days later. According to a criminal complaint filed by the Allegheny County Police, Nancy was in an “intermittent romantic relationship” with the girl’s father.
An autopsy for the toddler was performed Wednesday, and authorities revealed Thursday that they can rule out some causes of death.
“I can tell you that there’s no sign of trauma, that’s been eliminated,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala told CNN affiliate WTAE. “The baby is fully clothed. She did not die from exposure to the elements, that’s been eliminated.”
A joint statement from district attorney offices of Allegheny and Indiana counties said “the expectation is that the manner of death will be homicide.”
Zappala said he would charge Nancy with criminal homicide in addition to her existing charges.
“There’s no evidence that indicates anybody else was responsible for that child being taken from Penn Hills and ultimately being placed in that field, or in the woods in Indiana County,” Zappala said. “We have her movement, we have civilian witnesses, we’ve got technology, we’ve got — it’s a good case, it’s a good case to try.”
Nancy is being held without bail at the Allegheny County Jail.