(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- An Ohio woman accused of stealing a car containing 5-month-old twin boys, leading investigators on a dayslong search for one of the babies, now faces federal kidnapping charges.
A federal grand jury indicted Nalah Jackson, 24, of Columbus, on two counts of kidnapping a minor on Thursday, prosecutors announced.
Jackson was arrested on Dec. 22, days after allegedly stealing a running 2010 Honda Accord that had twins Kason and Kyair in the back seat while their mom stepped away to pick up a food order, Columbus police said.
Both were found safe. Kyair was discovered abandoned in his car seat at 4:40 a.m. in a parking lot at the Dayton International Airport on Dec. 20, several hours after the vehicle was taken. Kason was located across state lines in Indianapolis in the stolen car on Dec. 22, hours after Jackson was taken into custody in the city, police said.
Jackson faced state kidnapping charges in the incident, though those will be superseded by the federal charges, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker. Each count is punishable by at least 20 years of incarceration and up to life in prison, prosecutors said.
"Protection of our youth is vital and ensuring the safe return of the children in this case was paramount," Parker said in a statement. "Now, as we move into the accountability phase of this incident, I can assure you that my office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in Ohio and Indiana to fully investigate the matter."
Jackson, who is currently in custody in Indiana, will be transported to face her federal charges in U.S. District Court in Columbus, prosecutors said.
The federal indictment alleges Jackson held the infants "for ransom and reward."
Online records do not list any attorney information for Jackson.