Kidnapped infant found, woman arrested
MCSO: Keegan Schuchardt’s mother, Kala Golden, killed in abduction
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -
A woman has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a mother and the kidnapping of her newborn baby.
Verna Deann McClain, 31, was charged with capital murder. She is being held without bond.
Kala Marie Golden Schuchardt, 28, was shot numerous times and her 3-day-old son, Keegan, was kidnapped outside a Montgomery County pediatrician’s office Wednesday shortly after 2 p.m. Deputies said it appeared to be a stranger abduction.
The healthy 3-day-old infant was found around 8 p.m., after his mother was killed during a verbal altercation in a parking lot, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said. Ligon wouldn’t say where the infant was found, but he said the baby was being reunited with his father.
Kala Marie Golden Schuchardt was leaving an afternoon checkup with her son when she had a verbal altercation with a woman in a Lexus parked next to her pickup truck, Montgomery County sheriff’s Lt. Dan Norris said.
“We believe that some sort of a verbal altercation occurred between the mother of the child and a black female that was in the car parked next to her,” Norris said. “The mother of the child tries to get into the vehicle because the black female suspect has taken the child out of the pickup truck and put the child in the Lexus.”
Witnesses said the woman repeatedly shot Golden, took the infant and sped away, hitting the dying mother as she screamed “my baby” and tried to reach into the Lexus, Norris said. Witnesses also reported hearing as many as seven gunshots and said a man also was in the Lexus, which is blood-stained on the driver’s side, Norris said.
“I saw a lady fall down here in the parking lot. I saw another lady get out and I saw a guy get out of the car that the lady who shot her was driving and get the baby out of the other lady’s car that was shot and they just got in the car and drove off,” witness Tia Collins said.
Officers searched a nearby apartment complex Tuesday night for the boy but did not find him, Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez told The Associated Press in a brief interview. It wasn’t immediately clear what led authorities to the complex, where officers were seen wielding guns and riot shields.
The shooting happened outside the Northwoods Pediatric Center in Spring, which is about 20 miles north of Houston. A statewide emergency Amber Alert was issued for the baby.
Witnesses described the shooting suspect as a thin, gold-haired black woman, apparently in her late 20s or early 30s, Norris said. They also said the Lexus was sky blue or light green. Detectives said that the kidnapper also took Keegan’s car seat.
Joshua Jesson said he was in the clinic with his girlfriend when he heard gunshots. He said he saw the Lexus next to the pickup truck, then later looked back and saw the car was gone and a woman lying in the spot where the Lexus had been parked.
“I thought she just passed out. Then somebody ran in here and said, ‘Somebody got shot,”‘ he said.
Police quickly surrounded the clinic and much of the parking lot with crime-scene tape, and yellow markers were placed next to a purse and pair of brown sandals near a red pickup truck. Spent ammunition also was nearby.
The clinic is in an area thick with strip malls.
Family and friends gathered outside a small Montgomery County home Tuesday night to grieve Kala Schuchardt.
“She never did anything wrong she’s just a mom doing her best to take care of her kids and I miss her,” said long time friend Jennifer Hartis. “Keegan is only three days old. He’s needs to know his mom and she can’t do that now. “
Hartis was one of several friends and family members who rallied around Schuchardt’s mother, Linda Golden. She declined to speak with Local 2 on camera, but through the hugs and tears she asked for everyone to pray for her grandson.
Not far from her grandmother’s house is the home Schuchardt shared with her husband. His father, Henry Schuchardt, spoke on his son’s behalf and asked the same question every detective in Montgomery County is now trying to answer: why?
“I wished I knew, I wished I knew,” said Henry Schuchardt..” I don’t know how they could do it.”