A woman has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a young mother and the kidnapping of her infant son near Houston.
Verna McClain was charged early Wednesday for the murder of Kala Marie Golden, said Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon on ABC's Good Morning America. Golden's son was found alive and good health.
She's given a full statement to the detectives with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, said Ligon. As part of the statement with that agency, in conjunction with the other evidence that we were able to obtain yesterday...we did charge her [McClain] in the early hours of this morning with capital murder.
Ligon stated that McClain told her sister that she expected to adopt a child soon. After the shooting and the abduction, she reportedly told her sister that she now had a child was ready to go through with the proper paperwork for adoption, according to USA Today.
Golden was standing near her pickup truck outside of Northwoods Pediatric Center office around 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday in Spring, Texas. She was with her 3-day-old son Keegan Schuchardt.
Witnesses said that McClain and man pulled up in a car near Golden, reported the Associated Press. An argument broke out between McClain and Golden. McClain then allegedly pulled out a 9 mm pistol, shooting Golden several times and abducting her child.
My baby, my baby! Golden reportedly screamed as the car drove off.
As Golden lay wounded in the parking lot, witnesses informed police of the description of the vehicle and the alleged culprits. Police sent out an Amber Alert, in an effort to find the abducted baby. However, Golden succumbed to her injuries in the hospital, according to USA Today.
Witnesses at the clinic reportedly heard gunshots and saw Golden lying in the street. However, they were unsure about exactly what happened.
I thought she just passed out, said Joshua Jesson, who was at the clinic with his girlfriend at the time of the incident, reported the AP. Then somebody ran in here and said, 'Somebody got shot.'
Golden's mother, Linda Golden, had been babysitting another one of her daughter's children at the time of the incident, when someone at the scene called her using her injured daughter's phone, She hurried to the scene, but was unable to be with her daughter as paramedics rushed her away, reported the Associated Press.
I wanted to kiss her before they put her in the ambulance, Linda Golden said.
She described he daughter as a kind hearted person.
We went everywhere together and did everything together, she said.
Authorities said that injured mother attempted to save her baby from McClain.
The child was being put into the suspect vehicle and that's when the mother tried to get into the car, Lt. Dan Norris with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said, according to ABC. The car sped away, knocking the lady to the ground.
Golden's mother said that this was the hardest fight of daughter's life.
She died trying to save her baby, she said, according to the AP. She also stated she has no idea what drove the alleged culprits to kill her daughter and abduct her grandson.
Ligon stated that it does not appear Golden was a target, but that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Not that Ms. Golden was targeted specifically, but that this was part of a plan to kidnap a child, he said according to ABC.
Police were led to Fawnridge Apartments in Houston where emergency service units entered to find a woman on the phone. Investigators tracked down the woman on the other end of the line to a home in Harris County where baby Keegan was discovered unharmed.
It's unusual to get such a large swing of events, to go from the murder to the recovery of the child and have the suspect in custody all in a matter of few hours, Ligon told ABC. Rarely do things work out like they do on TV but, in this case, I can't say enough about law enforcement here in Montgomery County.
Baby Keegan is currently in the care of Child Protective Services, as officials conduct a thorough background investigation of the father, Keith Schuchardt, said Ligon.
I expect them to be reunited this morning or sometime this afternoon, he said. Obviously for the father, Keith, it has been a roller coaster. You lose your wife one day but you're able to recover your child, it's an emotional swing not many people would be prepared for but I understand he's holding up well.