How it unfolded: Missing Columbus twin infants found safe after AMBER Alert suspect arrested

The dayslong search for missing 5-month-old Columbus twins Kason and Ky’air and Thomas concluded with both boys found safe and healthy. Here is a look at how it unfolded:

How it began

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

The two babies, Kason and Ky’air, were taken Monday night in Columbus. An AMBER Alert was issued early Tuesday.

The twins’ mother, Wilhelmina Barnett, left the boys inside her 2010 Honda Accord while it was running around 9:45 p.m. Monday when she went inside a Donatos Pizza to get a DoorDash order, according to Columbus police.

Restaurant workers told officers a homeless woman, identified as 24-year-old Nalah T. Jackson, was inside the pizza place and left when the twins’ mother walked in.

Who is the suspect?

Kidnapping charges were filed Tuesday against Jackson in connection to the AMBER Alert. She was arrested Thursday afternoon after police received several calls to their tip line from Indiana.

She also was charged with battery of bodily waste in Indiana, Columbus police reported Friday.

Nalah Jackson’s ex-boyfriend speaks

Days before the AMBER Alert was issued, Jackson went to a Riverside apartment to try to see her children. She does not have custody and reportedly tried to force her way inside when told they were not home.

Riverside police were called to a Harshman Road apartment around 11:25 p.m. Dec. 15 after Dominic Davies reported Jackson, his ex-girlfriend, punched him, according to an incident report.

A warrant was issued for Jackson’s arrest for domestic violence in Montgomery County Municipal Court East Division.

Davies, who has two daughters with Jackson, said something in the past two years dramatically changed her.

“I don’t know really what switched in her. She’s like a different person. She doesn’t even look the same,” he said.

Davies said Jackson has a history of drug use and mental illness and police records obtained by this newspaper back that up. He said he was worried about what Jackson was capable of due to her mental state.

The search

Police checked the Columbus and Dayton area but could not find Nalah Jackson.

Kyair Thomas was found early Tuesday, and the search for Jackson and Kason Thomas continued Wednesday. A be on the lookout alert, or BOLO, for Jackson and the stolen black 2010 Honda Accord was issued in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. AMBER Alert notices also displayed on electronic signs along Ohio roads.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Columbus police had two teams of detectives — 12 in total — searching for Kason in Dayton, along with the FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Dayton police.

Jackson was seen in Huber Heights early Tuesday morning at a gas station. Surveillance video showed her talking to an employee and asking for money, according to a Columbus Division of Police Facebook post. She was still driving the stolen Honda Accord at that time.

The twins’ mother, Wilhelmina Barnett, as well as other family and friends, joined the search Tuesday in the Dayton area.

During a press conference Tuesday, the Columbus police chief pleaded with Jackson to safely return Kason Thomas.

“Nalah Jackson, I plead to you, please return Kason Thomas,” Bryant said Tuesday. “We thank you for returning Ky’air. You’ve already shown us you can do the right thing. You can return him to any safe location … We’re begging you to please return Kason.”

Several area law enforcement agencies helped in the search, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and police departments from Dayton, Vandalia, Huber Heights, Middletown, Riverside, Englewood, the Dayton International Airport, Butler Twp., Union, Brookville, New Lebanon, Farmersville and Jackson Twp.

How was Ky’air Thomas found?

A passenger at the Dayton International Airport found Ky’air Thomas in the economy lot and brought him inside the airport around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The infant was wrapped in a blanket and in a car seat when the passenger found him, said Linda Hughes, city of Dayton air service manager. Butler Twp. medics examined Ky’air and he appeared to be in good health.

An airport firefighter waited with the boy until his family could arrive.

How was Kason Thomas found?

Kason Thomas was found Thursday in the stolen Honda Accord near a Papa John’s in Indianapolis, hours after Nalah Jackson was arrested in Indianapolis. There was no heat in the car when temperatures had dipped well below freezing. Also, the baby was still wearing the same clothes when he was taken on Monday, police said.

Police said that 5-month-old Kason is in “good health” but was taken to a hospital to be checked.