Kason Thomass: Lady suspected of kidnapping five-month-old twins arrested in Indianapolis; a child continues to be lacking
The woman suspected of stealing a car containing 5-month-old twins was taken into custody in Indianapolis on Thursday, but one of the children was not found with her and remains missing, Columbus police said Thursday.
Suspect Nalah Jackson was arrested by officers from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) around 2 p.m. Thursday after officers received multiple tips that she was in the area, Columbus Police Commissioner Elaine Bryant said during a news conference.
Jackson was charged with kidnapping on two counts. The vehicle was not located.
Wilhelmina Barnett, the mother of Kason and Kyair Thomass, took a restaurant order while working as a DoorDash driver and left a black 2010 Honda Accord outside a pizzeria on Columbus High Street Monday night, CNN previously reported.
When she came 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 went missing on Monday.
“We won’t stop until we find Kason,” said the chief. The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Kason’s safe return, she added.
Because Jackson crossed state lines, she faces federal charges, Bryant said.
“It’s definitely going to be a federal investigation,” she said.
An arrest warrant has been filed for Jackson in Franklin County Court, according to an online listing. An Amber Alert went out for the twins at 1:37 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
Restaurant employees told police that a homeless woman left the restaurant after the twins’ mother entered the restaurant.
The person was later caught on camera at a gas station asking an employee for money.
Officials do not believe there is any connection between the twins’ family and the suspect.
Columbus Deputy Police Chief Smith Weir said during Thursday’s news briefing that officers had received “over three dozen tips” from across the state since Wednesday.
Late Thursday morning, the department’s hotline received multiple calls from people in Indiana who believed they saw Jackson in Indianapolis, and officials “begged” the witnesses to call 911. IMPD informed Columbus Police Department around 2 p.m. that they had pulled over what they believed to be Jackson and both departments were working together to identify them before they were taken 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 Division of Police are traveling to Indianapolis to coordinate with IMPD and the FBI the investigation further.
Indiana will issue an Amber Alert asking for 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 vigil, the twins’ grandmother, LaFonda Thomass, asked for Kason’s return.
“If you look at him and you see anything, you see a precious child who longs for his mother,” she said. “We’re asking you, please, please, please do the right thing and just bring my baby home.”
First Deputy Police Commissioner LaShanna Potts said during the vigil, “We are committed to finding baby Kason. We want Nalah to do the right thing. … We know she’s capable of it because she released a baby.”
Barnett and other family members searched the entire Dayton area for Kason Tuesday, including at the gas station, she told CNN affiliate WSYX.
“I just miss my babies. I miss them together and their smiles,” she told WSYX.
She said she is worried about her son’s safety and whether he will be fed.
“Kason, he loves to eat and that’s why I’m so worried. I know he’s freaking out. he eats so fast He’ll eat in 3-5 minutes,” Barnett said.
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