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UPDATE: Homeless Woman Arrested In the Abduction of 5-Month-Old Ohio Twins; Second Infant Found Safe

UPDATE:  Kason Thomas was found safe in Indianapolis Thursday night in the same car he was taken in on Monday night. Police said the child has been taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Both children were in their mother’s car when it was stolen at the top of the week. But within a day, one of the twins was found after being abandoned in a parking lot of a Dayton, Ohio, airport.

Twin infant kidnapped in Ohio
Police have released this still image of Nalah Jackson, left, the main suspect in the kidnapping of 5-month-old Kason Thomas and his twin. (Photos: Twitter/Columbus Police Department/YouTube screenshot/WBNS 10th TV)

Columbus police arrested Nalah T. Jackson, 24, in the twins’ abduction Thursday. She was charged with two felony counts of kidnapping. However, the second infant is still missing.

On Monday, Dec. 19, around 9:45 p.m., the mother of Kason and Kyair Thomas, the abducted five-month-old infants, hopped out of her 2010 Honda Accord in front of a Donato’s parking lot in Columbus’ Short North to pick up a food order in the restaurant, according to The Columbus Dispatch. During the split second of her picking up a DoorDash delivery, someone jumped in her car and drove off with her babies.

The twins’ mother called 911, saying through her tears, “Someone just stole my car. My babies are in there.” She asked the officer to help her find the person who stole the car and her children, CantonRep reports.

After being notified of the missing twins and car, a statewide Amber Alert was issued around 1:35 a.m., close to four hours after the twins were snatched.

The Columbus police also issued a BOLO (all-points bulletin) to five neighboring states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky, in search of the babies. The vehicle was recently purchased and does not have a license plate, but it has a torn Ohio registration sticker on the rear bumper and a white bumper sticker that says, “Westside City Toys,” CNN reports.

The family was frustrated that the CPD took so long to issue the Amber Alert, noting that every second counts with abducted children.

“Columbus police refused to put out an Amber Alert. As many times as we asked, we didn’t get one until almost three or four hours after they were missing. This lady has so much time on them; I don’t know where my baby is,” said the children’s father, Lachez Thomas, 23.

In response, the family organized their own search party, canvassing areas all across Dayton, including shopping centers and various neighborhoods. The boys’ father is leading the effort.

Thomas said there are “no words” to relay this “indescribable” feeling of anguish he has, not knowing where his other son is.

The boys’ exhausted paternal grandmother LaFonda Thomas, 44, said the boys both have “adorable smiles.”

“I’m so tired — I want to go to sleep — but I don’t want to miss a phone call,” Thomas said. “And I feel like if I fall asleep, that’s not right. So, I just feel like I just want to sit and wait, no matter what.”

By Tuesday morning, Kyair was found sitting in a car seat in an economy parking lot of Dayton International Airport. Someone saw the child and alerted authorities.

In a news conference, the chief of the Columbus Police Department, Elaine Bryant, told the suspect (or whoever may have the child) the priority is the safe return of the other twin.

“You can return him to any safe location,” Bryant said. “Fire department, hospital, shopping center, any public place where someone will find the baby. We are begging you. Please return Kason.”

Bryant said they were able to identify Jackson as a suspect because she was captured on camera loitering around the restaurant, immediately leaving when the mother came inside to get the delivery.

Columbus police Deputy Chief Smith Weir said, despite them having a suspect, there was a delay in finding the child, the car, and the woman because the license plate number on the car wasn’t attached to the request to authorities before Ohio State Highway Patrol issued the alert.

Bryant also addressed the delay. She said, “Obviously, I think that in a perfect world we would like to have it out a little earlier, but our officers did the best they could dealing with a chaotic scene,” ABC 7 reports.

She also said she didn’t originally know there were children in the carjacking.

“There was a lapse in communication. Had I known, we would have had the press conference last night or earlier this morning. That’s just a reality. I’m not going to hide it. I’m not going to sugarcoat that, but that doesn’t mean the team wasn’t doing the work,” Bryant said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have joined forces to find the child.

According to the chief, officers from the Ohio Highway Patrol, Ohio State University, Grandview, and Upper Arlington police department tracked and visited over a dozen addresses where Jackson used to live.

Police had also cleared three homeless camps, looking for the infant. Smith Weir said the department’s phone lines were flooded with calls from people in Indiana late Thursday morning saying they spotted Jackson in Indianapolis. She was found “on the streets,” and the 2010 Honda Accord was not with her nor was Kason.

LaFonda Thomas furiously blasted Jackson for her alleged action, saying, “She left my baby [Kyair] for dead.”

Megan Bocook, a victim’s advocate with the Dock Ellis Foundation — a national organization created by the late Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher to assist minority families with missing people, said relatives held a conference on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 21, to discuss internally the next steps.

“We’ve got quite a few family members in the mix today so we’re just trying to figure out what the best plan of action is,” Bocook, who is now representing the family, said.

The father and his mother have emerged as the principal voices from the family begging for the child’s return.

Dad said to Jackson, if she still has the child, “should just drop my child off at a fire station, police station, some safe hospital — somewhere safe.”

What makes matters more alarming is Jackson has a criminal history of child endangerment, court records show.

In June 2021, Jackson, after her 11-month-old daughter fell down an apartment staircase, pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges. Jackson was sentenced to serve 13 days in jail for the crime and two years of probation.

During a supervised visit to the National Youth Advocacy Center in September 2021, she allegedly kidnapped her own children who had been placed in the custody of the facility. Two NYAC employees followed her a few blocks away and were able to secure the children.

Fonda Thomas also wanted Jackson to know, regardless of what she might think, the boy has a family that loves him and he does not “belong” to her.

“(Kason is) loved; he has a family,” the grandmother begged. “He’s not yours, he does not belong to you. Give him back to us.”

Police say, based on surveillance footage, Jackson was spotted at a gas station in Dayton late Monday. They are asking for anyone with information to reach out.

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