- Five-month-year old Kason Thomas remains missing after he and his twin brother were abducted in Columbus, Ohio Monday night.
- The baby’s twin brother, Kyair, was found sitting in a car seat early Tuesday in the parking lot of Dayton International Airport.
- Police have identified Nalah T. Jackson, 24, as the prime suspect in the abduction and urged her to return Kason safely.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The search continued Wednesday for Kason Thomas, who remains unaccounted for after he and his twin brother were left in a running car while their mother picked up a food order from a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, Monday night.
When mother Wilhelmina Barnett turned around, police said, the car was gone.
Columbus police have identified Nalah T. Jackson, 24, as their prime suspect in the abduction and on Tuesday afternoon urged her to return Kason safely. A passerby found the five-month-old baby’s twin brother, Kyair, in a car seat in the bitter cold early Tuesday in the economy parking lot of Dayton International Airport.
The twin boys’ father, Lachez Thomas, on Tuesday evening described how he and other family members spent the day searching shopping centers and neighborhoods in the Dayton area for signs of Kason.
“It’s indescribable – there’s no words for this,” Thomas said of the anguishing search for his missing son.
A statewide amber alert for the twin boys was issued at 1:37 a.m. Tuesday, hours after their mother left them inside the running car.
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Columbus police charge Jackson with kidnapping
Columbus police said on Wednesday night the tips they received so far suggested Jackson may still be in Ohio’s Montgomery County, where Dayton is located.
During a joint press conference with the FBI and Ohio State Highway Patrol, Columbus police Chief Elaine Bryant said the department was working around the clock with over a dozen agencies, including many in the Dayton area, to locate the missing twin and his alleged abductor. Jackson was charged with two counts of kidnapping on Tuesday.
“Based on the events over the past hours, several hours in the past couple of days, (Montgomery County) is our focus,” Bryant said.
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The FBI is now involved in order to provide personnel and technology resources to the investigation, Bryant said.
– Cole Behrens, The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus police release new photos of stolen car, one twin remains missing
Columbus police tweeted out new photos showing the damage on mother Wilhelmina Barnett’s 2010 Honda Accord, which police suspect was stolen by suspected abductor Jackson.
Barnett, the twins’ mother, has publicly pleaded with Jackson to return her still-missing son, Kason.
The stolen black, four-door sedan is slightly damaged. The photos in the tweet below show the car’s ripped temporary Ohio registration tags and a bumper sticker that says “Westside Toys.”
– Céilí Doyle, The Columbus Dispatch
Thomas twins’ suspected abductor has criminal history, including child endangerment
Jackson had previous run-ins with law enforcement on child endangerment charges and allegations, court records show.
Most recently, in September 2021, Jackson allegedly fled on foot with her children during a supervised visit at the National Youth Advocacy Center, which held emergency custody over her children, police reported.
Police allege that two NYAC employees followed her on foot for several blocks and tried to regain control of the children, when Jackson flagged down a stranger’s vehicle and got in the car.
The driver ordered Jackson to leave the car, police alleged, after NYAC staff informed him that driving off with Jackson would be a crime.
In June 2021, Jackson pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges after her 11-month-old daughter fell down an apartment staircase, according to court records.
Police said Jackson did not respond to EMS personnel seeking entry to the building, compelling Columbus firefighters to force entry into the residence. Jackson did not respond to police or firefighters until they contacted her in her bedroom, court records indicate.
Jackson was sentenced to serve 13 days in prison for the charge and two years of probation, which she remained on at the time of this latest incident.
– Monroe Trombly and Cole Behrens, The Columbus Dispatch
Mom begs for son’s return in Dayton
In a Walmart parking lot in Dayton, volunteers like Ashley Cahill, of Troy, Ohio, showed up to assist the Thomas family in searching for Kason with water bottles and a passionate desire to help.
“This just hurts my heart,” she said. “I know if I did have kids I would want the whole community and their cousins to come out.”
Barnett begged the alleged suspect, Jackson, to return Kason.
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The twins’ grandmother, Fonda Thomas, asked for more volunteers.
“If anybody can come out please come. The more people we have, the better chance we have of finding Kason,” she said.
– Cole Behrens and Jordan Laird, The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus police say scammer, not suspect, asked parents for ransom money
Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Jeff Mooney told The Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network, a scammer contacted Kason’s mother via text asking for a $650 ransom for Kason’s safe return, but law enforcement said phone number is not connected to Jackson.
“We believe it to be a scammer attempting to get money from mom and dad,” Mooney said.
– Jordan Laird, The Columbus Dispatch
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Columbus police issue alert to surrounding states: Call 911 if you see suspect or stolen car
Columbus police issued an alert to five neighboring states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, for those law enforcement agencies to immediately contact Columbus authorities if anyone reports seeing Jackson, Kason or the stolen 2010 Honda Accord.
The division sent out the bulletin on Tuesday.
– Céilí Doyle and Jordan Laird, The Columbus Dispatch
Thomas family hosts prayer vigil for five-month-old Kason at Columbus restaurant
A dozen or so people gathered outside Donatos Pizza in Columbus Wednesday morning at a vigil urging for the safe return of Kason Thomas.
Following prayers and words of encouragement, the twins’ paternal grandmother Fonda Thomas choked back tears as she spoke about her grandson who is still missing.
“He is just the most adorable baby … he has the best smile,” she said. “We don’t even know what else he has to show us but what we’ve seen in these last five months we want to continue to see every day and continue to have him with us to grow.”
Fonda added that she had only just heard Kason laugh for the first time last weekend and desperately looks forward to seeing him grow up once he’s returned home.
– Max Filby, The Columbus Dispatch
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Story Credit: usatoday.com