A broad-based search for a woman who is now charged with kidnapping after she allegedly stole a vehicle with twin children in Ohio, one of whom police say has since been found.
Suspect Nalah Jackson, 24, allegedly stole the vehicle, a 2010 Honda Accord, from outside a Donatos pizza restaurant in the Short North Arts District in Columbus, Ohio, at around 9:45 p.m. on Monday, police said.
The mother of the 5-month-old boys, Kason and Kyair Thomass, had left her car running with the babies in it when she entered the pizza place to pick up a Door Dash order. When she returned, she found that her vehicle was gone, according to the Columbus Division of Police.
Jackson, who is described as homeless and hails from Columbus, was at the pizza place and left when the mother came in, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said.
Following an Amber Alert issued early Tuesday, police received a call about a child abandoned near Dayton International Airport identified as Kyair. The airport is around 70 miles, or an hour’s drive, from Donato’s Pizza.
The search for Jackson and Baby Kason was only intensified when the FBI and the Ohio State Highway Patrol joined the investigation.
In a news conference Wednesday, Columbus Deputy Police Chief Smith Weir announced that Jackson was charged with two counts of kidnapping with “nationwide reach.”
He said BOLO notifications were also issued in the five states surrounding Ohio while the Amber Alert remains in place in the state of Kason.
On Wednesday, police shared photos of the stolen vehicle. It is described that the Honda Accord is missing the front bumper. It features a torn temporary Ohio registration plate on the rear bumper and a white bumper sticker on the back that reads “Westside City Toys.”
Police have also released surveillance photos of Jackson taken from a gas station in Huber Heights after the vehicle was stolen. There, she asked an employee for money.
“We’ve handled this case uninterrupted from the start,” Police Chief Elaine Bryant said in a news conference Wednesday. “We want to focus on bringing Kason home. We want to focus on finding Nalah Jackson.”
The public is asked to file notes on Jackson’s whereabouts and report whether they see the stolen vehicle.
Weir said there is no indication that Jackson knew the mother or the boys.
According to police, Jackson has a criminal history and has been arrested multiple times by Columbus police.
Weir explained that in the search so far, investigators have interviewed a former friend of Jackson’s, checked hotels and apartment complexes in various areas, and searched the area surrounding the airport where Kyair was found and are trying to contact Jackson’s family.
He said they had made some “initial efforts” to contact their family and noted that “we’re still hoping to get in touch with them.”
“We think this child is in danger,” Weir said on Tuesday. “It’s a cry for help. We’re asking the community to reach out and help us locate this child.”