COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus police have now formally filed charges Wednesday against the suspect in the abduction of twin Columbus babies, one of whom remains the focus of an ongoing Amber Alert.
Alongside two charges of kidnapping confirmed by Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Smith Weir, new details poured out about the suspect, 24-year-old Nalah Tamiko Jackson, including that she has a history of legal issues involving her own children.
Police are looking for Jackson in connection with the abduction of Ky’air and Kason Thomas. The pair disappeared when their mother left her car running as she picked up a pizza delivery order in the Short North. When the mother looked back, she saw her car driving away with her twins inside. A traveler at the Dayton airport has since found Ky’air, but police have yet to find Kason.
Jackson has two children of her own and has been embroiled in court cases surrounding their custody since 2018, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records sent to NBC4. In her most recent case, from Oct. 30, Jackson believed a woman was keeping her son away from her. She proceeded to call and threaten the woman and her husband, according to an affidavit.
“If you think you are going to steal my son and take him anywhere, I’m going to kill you and I mean that,” Jackson said in a voicemail message listed in the case.
Jackson saw charges of aggravated menacing and harassment stemming from that case, but court records showed it as unfinished. A judge at the last update scheduled a pretrial hearing for Jan. 9.
Her first case in 2018, however, saw the mother convicted on charges of domestic violence and criminal mischief. Those charges were brought forward in place of dismissed charges including assault and child endangerment.
Jackson had been accused of the latter charges after she brought her infant daughter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for a fractured tibia. Jackson said her daughter fell from a bed, but doctors concluded that couldn’t have been the cause, and that it was already in stages of healing. When hospital staff informed her of this, records said Jackson left with her daughter and refused any more treatment for the girl’s injury.
While Jackson’s 2018 case saw no child endangerment conviction, another case later in June 2021 did. Court records stated that officers went to a home on a report of a medical emergency, where they found her daughter alone. Officers tried and could not get Jackson to answer the door, and firefighters had to come to breach it to get inside.
The emergency crews said Jackson did not talk with any of them until they found her in the home’s bedroom. Jackson pleaded guilty to a single charge of child endangerment and was convicted in September of that year.
A separate September 2021 case saw Jackson attempt to take her two children away during a supervised visitation at the National Youth Advocacy Center. She told staff that she was walking outside with her kids to pick up a food delivery, but then grabbed both kids and ran away, according to a case affidavit.
The staff members followed Jackson for several blocks away from the center before she tried to get in someone’s car and leave with them. The affidavit said when the workers warned the driver that he would be violating the law, he made Jackson and the children get out. Jackson was charged with two counts of interference with custody in that case, but a judge dismissed both in January 2022.
The revelations regarding Jackson’s legal history came alongside a Wednesday vigil in front of the Columbus Donatos where the twin boys disappeared. A group prayed together starting at 10 a.m. for around 30 minutes, hoping for Kason’s return.
While Columbus police did receive photos of Jackson Tuesday and shared more photos of the car on Wednesday, law enforcement attending the vigil told the group that they don’t have any newer developments or reported sightings of the car, Kason, or Jackson.
It was the same message just hours later at a press conference with Columbus police, the FBI, and others involved in the massive search of Kason.
While police released few details of the investigation, they did issue another plea for anyone who knows anything, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, to contact the authorities.
“If you have information you think can be helpful in helping us either locate Kason Thomas, locate Nalah Jackson, or even the vehicle, we want that information,” said Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant.
According to Columbus Police Deputy Chief Smith Weir, investigators interviewed a former boyfriend of Jackson’s and checked hotels and apartment complexes through the Interstate 70 and Interstate 75 corridor, but still have not found the baby, the suspect, or the Accord.
“We would like to speak to Miss Jackson’s family, and I think we’ve had some initial efforts and we’re still hoping to get in contact with them,” Weir said.
Bryant said information has led them to focus on the Dayton area, but she said they are looking at everything and not ruling anything out.
“The obstacles, obviously as time goes by, we’re concerned, which is why we’re pleading and begging for anyone with information to give it to us so we can find Kason and bring him home,” she said.
Columbus police ask anyone with information about Jackson to call their Special Victims Bureau tip line at 614-645-4266. The division also asked anyone who sees Kason, the suspect, or the car to call 911 immediately.
Ky’air and Kason’s mother and father have since reunited with the first twin found in Dayton, at least an hour away from where the stolen car took off.