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Community And Authorities Searching For Answers In Death Of Nalani Johnson

BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) -- Toddler Nalani Johnson's death in Pine Ridge Park has drawn a steady flow of those who come to pay their respects.

Jim Sulkosky lives nearby in Burrell Township, "It's just a shock what happened, it's a shock to the community, everybody."



Teddy Bears, stuffed unicorns, hearts, and angels surround a soaring tree. Tributes fitting for a little girl who would have been two in just 11 days. The gifts lovingly placed and followed often by a moment of silence.

Sherri Dell lives just over the hill on Chestnut Ridge, "I just feel awful, I just feel awful about it, even though she didn't live near us it still hits home.

Police who were on the scene tell KDKA Nalani was found in her car seat with no visible signs of trauma. The experienced investigators suspect dehydration.

Denise Friedline who live just on the other side of Blairsville finds it all to hard to believe.

"Whatever was going on with the adults involved you're so wrong to take a child's life," she said. "I'm sorry it hurts. They deserve the worst punishment the law can hand them cause this is devastating."

What we've learned today is that Nalani's mother Gladys Duarte sought and got a temporary protection from abuse order against Nalani's dad Paul Johnson in April.

Among the numerous reasons cited in the filing Duarte says Johnson "admitted to almost killing my daughter and himself." The PFA lapsed when no one showed up for the final hearing.

Posters about Nalani's disappearance are still evident at the apartment complex where the suspect in Nalani's disappearance Sharena Nancy lives. Her downstairs neighbor says she often heard Nancy and Paul Johnson arguing over their relationship.

Nikki Zielinski said, "I'm saddened about the little girl, I am, with her it just doesn't shock me."

Little Nalani's death is now the focus of a multi-agency investigation while the progression to the park continues.

Dorene Robertson came from Boliver, "It's really sad, it's just really awful, just awful that poor little girl. Why didn't she just leave her off somewhere safe."

No word on the autopsy results.

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