The woman suspected of stealing a car containing 5-month-old twins was taken into custody Thursday in Indianapolis, but one of the children was not found with her and is still missing, said Columbus police announced Thursday.
Suspect Nalah Jackson was arrested around 2 p.m. Thursday by officers from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) after officials received multiple tips indicating she was in the area, the chief of the police said. Columbus Police Department Elaine Bryant at a press conference.
Jackson was charged with two counts of kidnapping. The vehicle has not been located.
Wilhelmina Barnett, the mother of Kason and Kyair Thomass, was picking up a restaurant order while working as a DoorDash driver and left a black 2010 Honda Accord racing past a pizzeria on the High Street in Columbus on Monday night, CNN previously reported.
When she got out, the car was gone. Kyair was later found abandoned near Dayton International Airport around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.
“At the moment she is being questioned by the police. However, Kason Thomass was not with her at the time of her arrest,” Bryant said, adding that officers have been working “around the clock” since the twins disappeared on Monday. .
“We won’t stop until we find Kason,” the chief said. The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Kason’s safe return, she added.
Since Jackson crossed state lines, she will face federal charges, Bryant said.
“It will absolutely be a federal investigation,” she said.
A warrant for Jackson’s arrest has been filed in Franklin County Court, according to an online filing. An Amber Alert was issued for the twins at 1:37 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
Restaurant workers told police that a homeless woman walked out of the restaurant after the mother of the twins entered the restaurant.
The individual was then filmed at a gas station where she asked an employee for money.
Officials do not believe there is a connection between the twins’ family and the suspect.
Columbus Deputy Police Chief Smith Weir said at Thursday’s press conference that officers have received “more than three dozen tips” since Wednesday from across the state.
Late Thursday morning, the department’s hotline received several calls from people in Indiana who believed they had spotted Jackson in Indianapolis and officers “implored” the witnesses to call 911. IMPD notified Columbus police about 2 p.m. they had arrested an individual they believed to be Jackson and the two departments worked together to identify her before taking her into custody, Weir said.
“If you have any information regarding this crime or the whereabouts of this baby, please contact us as soon as possible,” Weir said, adding that three detectives from the Columbus Police Division are traveling to Indianapolis to coordinate with the police. ‘IMPD and the FBI. further investigation.
Indiana will issue an Amber Alert requesting information that could help locate Kason and the missing vehicle, Weir said.
On Wednesday, family members and community leaders gathered to pray for the child’s safe return.
During the wake, the twins’ grandmother, LaFonda Thomass, begged for Kason’s return.
“If you look at him and see something, see a precious child yearning for his mother,” she said. “We’re begging you, please, please, please do the right thing and just bring my baby home.”
First Deputy Chief of Police LaShanna Potts said at the vigil: “We are committed to finding baby Kason. We want Nalah to do the right thing. … We know she’s able to do that because she released a baby.
Barnett and other family members searched for Kason throughout the Dayton area on Tuesday, including at the gas station, she told CNN affiliate WSYX.
“I miss my babies. I miss them being together and their smiles,” she told WSYX.
She said she was worried about her son’s safety and whether he was being fed.
“Kason, he loves to eat and that’s why I’m so worried. I know he freaks out. He eats so fast. He eats in 3-5 minutes,” Barnett said.