Online petition seeks to rename Indiana site to Nalani Johnson Park |

Online petition seeks to rename Indiana site to Nalani Johnson Park

Dillon Carr
Nalani Johnson

An online petition to rename a park in Indiana County has purportedly garnered more than 18,700 signatures since its launch a week ago.

Nadia Tillman, of Blairsville created the petition in early September, two days after Nalani Johnson — who would have turned two on Sunday — was found dead while still clothed and strapped into her car seat at Pine Ridge Park, according to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

Tillman said she wants the park to be renamed to Nalani Johnson Park. If that cannot be done, she wrote on the petition’s website, there should be a playground installed in her honor.

“Pine Ridge will always be associated with this terrible tragedy, so might as well be used to allow Nalani’s memory to live on,” Tillman wrote. She is seeking 25,000 signatures that would have to appear before Indiana County officials; the park is county-owned.

The toddler disappeared on Aug. 31, allegedly after a fight in Penn Hills between her father and his girlfriend.

There has not been an official ruling on Johnson’s death but Allegheny County prosecutors are treating it as a homicide.

Sharena I. Nancy, 25, of Penn Hills is a prime suspect as the toddler’s murder, although murder charges have not been filed against her. She is being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail on kidnapping-related charges.

Nancy’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman has said his investigation into the girl’s cause of death, which includes a toxicology report, could take at least six weeks.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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