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Cops: Nurse kidnapped baby after miscarriage

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Verna DeAnn McClain allegedly kidnapped Keegan Schuchardt because she wanted to present him as her own baby following a miscarriage Kala Goldens family members grieve her loss
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Investigators revealed why Verna McClain may have wanted to kill a mother and take her baby. Not only that, but police say the attack on Kala Golden Schuchardt was totally random, so it could have been anyone in that parking lot who could have been killed.

Investigators say McClain, 30, already saw a judge for the first time on Wednesday. She is being held in a single cell, without a roommate, and without bond. They say it appears the woman was too afraid to tell her boyfriend she lost the baby she was carrying.

Investigators gathered at a news conference in Montgomery County uncovered new and disturbing details about McClain. She's the capital murder suspect accused of stealing three-day-old Keegan Schuchardt after fatally shooting the child's mom.

Capt. Bruce Zenor of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said, "I'm not going to go into detail on motive. But initial information is that she did have a miscarriage. She needed to justify having a child to her soon to be fiancé. They were going to get married in May."

Investigators say McClain works as a nurse around Harris County. They say she's a mother of two, and never told her boyfriend she lost her new baby. Officials say McClain's children are staying with a family member in Montgomery County. Det. John Schmitt said McClain does appear remorseful for what happened.

It was Tuesday afternoon when deputies say McClain randomly approached Kala Golden, 28, in the pediatric center parking lot on Borough Park and Sawdust in The Woodlands and shot her multiple times before grabbing and kidnapping little Keegan. After an intense five-hour search, detectives say they found McClain's getaway car at an apartment complex in Montgomery County.

They say McClain later approached them at the complex saying she was a witness. But when her story started to fall apart, detectives say the woman cooperated and confessed to the murder and abduction.

The infant was found safe at McClain's home, under her sister's care.

"I think she knew the patterns at the pediatric center where she was at, because she had taken her children there in the past," Capt. Zenor said. "But there's nothing to indicate that this was anything beyond planning further than that."

The DA says that although they are following up on all leads, and there were some conflicting reports, at this point they do think McClain was acting on her own.

"Originally we released information that a second suspect was in the car," said Lt. Dan Norris with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. "That was based on witness interviews. They see things from different angles and perspectives. We do believe today that she acted alone."

Detectives are still doing interviews and it's possible more people could face charges. They also are now questioning her family members and looking for more of them.

Baby Keegan's father is still waiting for him and his siblings to come home. Authorities say they're just following procedure but Keith Schuchardt doesn't seem to mind. On Wednesday, he shared family photos with us.

It's been a difficult day. Schuchardt has surrounded himself with friends and family. This grieving husband and father says he wasn't given the baby right away because his name wasn't on the birth certificate.

Last night, Schuchardt shared a happy reunion with his infant son Keegan. All he wants now is to bring him home for good.

"It was wonderful (to hold him)," Schuchardt said. "It was nice to know he was alive."

On Tuesday afternoon baby Keegan was snatched from his mother's arms after she was shot outside a pediatrician's office in Montgomery County. McClain, the alleged shooter, is now behind bars charged with capital murder. Linda Golden, Kala's mother, is still so upset she can barely talk.

"It's a brutal murder," Linda said. "It's horrible is what it is. My daughter was a good person and she wouldn't argue with anybody but she fought to protect her baby and she took her life for it. "

We also spoke to a woman who rushed to Golden's side. Stephanie Arce says she got to work Tuesday afternoon, parked her car then heard the gunshots.

Instinctively, Arce rushed to comfort Golden.

"She started fading in and out and I grabbed her phone and called her mom. I just saw her mom's name in her recent calls, and her mom made it just in time, she didn't want me to hang up," Arce said. "Her mom was asking me how many times she'd been shot. They took off her shirt, they shot her all up here, and twice in the arm and once in her lower back."

Arce says it all happened so fast. Still, those few moments will stay with her every day she looks out into this parking lot.

"I haven't slept, I can't get her face out of my head. I walked up and seen all the stuff that everybody's put I just -- it's not easy. It's not easy," Arce said.

The Schuchardts were married about three years ago. Family members say if there was anything Kala loved more than being a wife, it was being a mother to her three small children. Baby Keegan was the newest addition to the family, born just a few days ago.

Keith Schuchardt said, "She's the best girl I've ever been with. She's good for the kids. She's good with the kids helped me out through a lot of stuff. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Children's Protective Services placed Keegan and his siblings with relatives. Schuchardt believes a prior drug conviction is keeping him from bringing his son home, so late Wednesday morning he took a drug test. A CPS spokesperson says Schuchardt knows where the children are and he is welcome to see them at any time.

"They're doing good. They're in a safe place," Linda Golden said. "We can't say because the cops will get mad."

A memorial fund has been set up at Spirit of Texas Bank, 5452 Highway 105, Suite 101, Conroe. The bank's phone number is 936-538-1000. Donations should be made payable to: Schuchardt Family Benefit. Donations can be made at any branch -- locations can be found on the website at SpiritofTexasBank.com.

Additionally, a barbeque benefit for the family of Kala Golden Schuchardt will be held Saturday, April 21, beginning at 10am at the Willis Youth Athletic Association at 13551 Rogers Road in Willis. Another benefit for Baby Keegan is scheduled for on June 10 at Papa's Icehouse located in Spring, Texas from 12-9pm.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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