A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a Columbus woman who is accused of kidnapping 5-month-old twins, resulting in an AMBER Alert and dayslong search for one of the boys and the suspect.
Nalah T. Jackson, 24, is charged with two counts of kidnapping a minor in U.S. District Court in Columbus. Each count is punishable by 20 years to life in prison, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker of the Southern District of Ohio.
Between Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, 2022, Jackson kidnapped the two infants and traveled interstate with one of them, according to her indictment.
The babies, Kason and Ky’air Thomas, were inside a 2010 Honda Accord stolen while their mother, Wilhemina Barnett, left the car running while she went inside a pizza place to pick up a DoorDash order.
A passenger at the Dayton International Airport found Ky’air outside in the economy lot nearly six hours later, around 4:15 a.m. Dec. 20.
Kason was found Dec. 22 inside the abandoned Accord in Indianapolis while temperatures dropped well below freezing, hours after Jackson was arrested. Kason spent a few days at a children’s hospital, where he received treatment for exposure, but was released in time for Christmas to his family and reunited with his twin brother.
His grandmother, Fonda Thomas, said news of finding Kason was a relief.
“I just dropped to the ground,” she said. “Just all types of good emotions came over me at that point.”
Days before the AMBER Alert was issued Jackson went to a Riverside apartment to try to see her two children.
Riverside police were called to a Harshman Road apartment around 11:25 p.m. Dec. 15 after the father of her children reported Jackson, his ex-girlfriend, punched him, according to an incident report.
The man told officers Jackson does not have custody of their daughters and then tried to force her way into the apartment when he said they weren’t home.
Jackson was charged in Franklin County with two counts of kidnapping, but Parker said the federal charges supersede her state charges.
“Jackson is currently in custody in Indiana and will be transported to the Southern District of Ohio to face her federal charges in U.S. District Court in Columbus,” Parker stated. “Protection of our youth is vital and ensuring the safe return of the children in this case was paramount. Now, as we move into the accountability phase of this incident, I can assure you that my office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in Ohio and Indiana to fully investigate the matter.”
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