Dying Mom Desperately Tried To Stop Newborn's Kidnapping

By: CNN (Posted by Carissa Fox)
By: CNN (Posted by Carissa Fox)

(CNN) -- Wounded by multiple gunshots, Kala Golden nevertheless made an attempt to save her 3-day-old son from a kidnapper.

Witnesses said Golden, 28, who was shot outside a Houston-area pediatrician's office Tuesday, screamed and attempted to chase after the car with her son inside, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

The car struck Golden as it left the scene, the station said. She died later at a hospital.

A 30-year-old registered nurse is accused of killing Golden and taking 3-day-old Keegan Schuchardt.

Verna McClain was arrested just before midnight Tuesday, according to an arrest report. She is charged with capital murder, Montgomery County, Texas, District Attorney Brett Ligon told KTRK Wednesday, and prosecutors are requesting she be held without bond.

Police believe the kidnapping was the motive for the shooting, the report said. The baby was found safe about six hours later.

Keegan was initially taken into the custody of Texas Child Protective Services, but was released to family members late Wednesday morning, CNN affiliate KHOU reported.

However, Keegan's father and Golden's husband, Keith Schuchardt, told the station he did not have his son. He said he has not yet signed the baby's birth certificate, which might complicate the process of getting him back.

"My son-in-law is trying to get his child, and they've got to run background checks on everybody before we can even get our baby back, my daughter's baby," the victim's mother, Linda Golden, told KHOU.

Schuchardt told the station he was at work when he got a call regarding the shooting. His wife was dead when he reached the hospital, he said.

"It's just a random thing, I think," he said. "We don't have any enemies. I don't know why anyone would do it. Maybe she lost her baby and wanted a baby ... or to sell him. I want to get my baby back."

According to the arrest report, Golden, carrying Keegan, was leaving the Northwoods Pediatric Center in the Houston suburb of Spring when the incident took place Tuesday afternoon.

"The defendant confronted Mrs. Golden and shot her multiple times in the parking lot," then took the baby and left, the report said.

McClain's vehicle was found at an apartment complex, according to the report.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said detectives began a "systematic canvas and search" of areas near the shooting scene and spied the car at the apartment complex. The detectives questioned residents and examined the vehicle, alerting investigators of their findings.

A SWAT team entered an apartment in the complex to search for the baby, the statement said. McClain returned to the apartment as the investigation was continuing and asked to speak to police, the report said.

"She admitted to shooting Mrs. Golden and taking her baby," the arrest report said. "The defendant admitted to taking the child to her residence in Harris County, which is where Keegan was later located."

During an interview with authorities, McClain provided information that only someone at the scene would know, the report said.

Evidence was found at both residences and in the car "that support the arrest of the suspect," the sheriff's office said.

McClain's sister, Corina Jackson, told police her sister had said she would be adopting a child soon.

"After killing Golden and kidnapping Keegan, defendant stated to Corina that she now had the child and would be needing to do the adoption, indicating that the abduction of the child was her motive for killing Golden," the report said.

Authorities said Tuesday that Golden and the woman parked next to her at the doctor's office apparently spoke to one another or argued before the shooting.

"They were talking," witness Tia Collins told KTRK. "I did see the lady get out, and they were struggling." She said she heard gunshots and saw Golden fall.

Collins was among witnesses reporting two suspects at the scene, but the sheriff's office said investigators believe McClain acted alone.

The shooting shocked Houston-area residents. Spring is about 20 miles north of the city.

Jennifer Hartis, a friend of the victim, was one of the many left wondering why.

"She never did anything wrong. She's just a mom doing her best to take care of her kids, and I miss her," Hartis told CNN affiliate KPRC. "Keegan is only 3 days old. He needs to know his mom, and she can't do that now. "

"I'm thinking this is crazy," Frank Johnson of Houston told KHOU. "I'm thinking this doesn't really happen every day in the city. I mean, you hear about a lot of shootings and other types of crimes, but somebody kidnaps a baby, 3 days old, and the mother to be shot? I mean, that's serious stuff. That's really scary."

Henry Schuchardt, Keegan's paternal grandfather, told the affiliate he was searching for answers.

"I wished I knew. I wished I knew," the crestfallen grandfather said. "I don't know how they could do this."


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