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Columbus police chief makes plea for suspected kidnapper to return 5-month-old

Police are searching for 24-year-old Nalah Jackson, who has been named a suspect in connection to the AMBER Alert.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — BREAKING UPDATE: Nalah Jackson, the woman accused of kidnapping two 5-month-old, has been arrested and Kason Thomas was found safe shortly after Jackson's arrest.

FULL STORY HERE: Police: Kason Thomas found alive; woman charged with kidnapping him arrested

Previous story below:

A 5-month-old boy, the subject of an Ohio AMBER Alert, remains missing after the vehicle he and his twin brother were in was stolen in the Short North area Monday evening.

The Columbus Division of Police said Kason and Kyair Thomas were inside a 2010 Honda Accord left running by their mother at a Donatos located at East 1st Avenue and North High Street when the vehicle was stolen. 

Kyair was found safe at the Dayton International Airport early Tuesday morning. Kason remains missing and is believed to be in danger. 

In a press conference held Tuesday afternoon, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the mother was working as a DoorDash delivery driver at the time of the vehicle theft and kidnapping. 

Police named 24-year-old Nalah Jackson as a suspect in the case. Employees at the Donatos told detectives she was inside the restaurant Monday night and left when the victim walked in at approximately 9:45 p.m.

Chief Bryant pleaded with Jackson to return the 5-month-old during Tuesday's briefing. 

"Please return Kason Thomas," Bryant said. "Thank you for returning Kyair. You've already shown us you can do the right thing."

Police said Kyair was abandoned outside the Dayton airprort around 4 a.m. Police said he is currently with his father.

Jackson is described as being 5 feet, 7 inches tall, having black hair and brown eyes and weighing 159 pounds. Police said at this time they do not believe she had any connection or relationship with the mother or the twin boys.

Police said the 2010 4-door Honda Accord that was stolen is missing its temporary tag and has a white bumper sticker that says “Westside City Toys.”  Authorities said the car was suspected to have been in a crash and has damage and purple paint transfer on the left side. 

Bryant said the department is doing everything they can to locate the missing baby. 

"Bringing him home safe is our number one priority," Bryant said.

More than 60 officers have worked the case since it was first reported Monday night, according to Bryant. 

Police released surveillance photos of Jackson who was seen at a Huber Heights gas station around 11:45 p.m. on Monday.

Chief Bryant provided the following timeline of the kidnapping and subsequent investigation:

  • 9:45 p.m. Monday — Columbus police receive report of stolen vehicle with two 5-month-old boys inside from Donatos at 920 N. High St.
  • 9:52 p.m. — Police officers arrive at the scene.
  • 10:17 p.m. — A grid-pattern search of the area begins; more than 50 officers take part and the CPD helicopter is dispatched.
  • 10:30 p.m. - Neighboring police departments and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are notified and join the search. 
  • 11 p.m. — Police go to all known former addresses tied to the suspect and visit three Columbus-area homeless camps.
  • 11:45 p.m. — Columbus police requests OSHP issue an AMBER Alert.
  • 12:05 a.m. Tuesday — Columbus deputy chief notifies OSHP again about the AMBER Alert request.
  • 12:30 a.m. — Additional Columbus police detectives and supervisors called in to assist in the search.
  • 1:37 a.m. — Statewide AMBER Alert is issued.
  • 4:15 a.m. — Columbus police receive call that one of the twins was abandoned at the Dayton airport.
  • 5:47 a.m. — Columbus police inform media the Kyair was found safe.
  • 6 a.m. — Columbus police detectives leave for Dayton to continue investigation.
  • 11:15 a.m. — Huber Heights police inform CPD they possibly have video of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Columbus Police Department Special Victims Unit at 614-645-4701.

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