MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — (DMN) – Police do not think 30-year old Verna McClain had an accomplice yesterday when she shot and killed 28-year old Kala Golden and kidnapped her 3-day-old son Keegan Schuchardt outside a pediatric clinic in the Woodlands area north of Houston. Authorities do say that McClain had suffered a recent miscarriage and told her fiance’ she was pregnant with his child. They planned to marry in May. After she had a miscarriage, they say, McClain decided to find another baby and convince her fiance’ it was his.
She allegedly killed Kala Golden and abducted Keegan Schuchardt from outside a pediatrician’s office in suburban Houston. Keegan was found unharmed hours later with McClain’s sister. McClain now faces a capital murder charge and is being held without bail. Her fiance, who was not identified, is being interviewed by authorities. Montgomery County deputies say McClain — a licensed vocational nurse— went to the Northwood Pediatric Center to find a woman with a baby. “We think she knew the patterns of the pediatric center because she’d taken her children there in the past,” said Lt. Dan Norris with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Kala Golden took her baby to Northwood for a checkup. When she returned to her truck, McClain was waiting with a handgun, according to authorities. “An altercation erupted with the suspect. The suspect shot Kala several times, then took the child from the pickup,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage. Despite her wounds, deputies said Golden tried to get the baby away from McClain. The suspect hit the dying mother with her car as Golden reached into the Lexus screaming, “My baby!” according to Norris. An Amber Alert was issued for the baby, 3-day-old Keegan Schuchardt. Golden was rushed to Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands where she died.
Hours after the abduction, detectives who canvassed parking lots in the area spotted a Lexus fitting the description of the killer’s car at the Fawn Ridge apartment complex, located in the 12400 block of Sawmill Rd. While officers were searching the complex for the missing child, they said McClain showed up and asked to speak to them. Investigators said McClain admitted to shooting Golden so she could take the baby, and told investigators where Keegan was. Texas Rangers found the child at a home off FM 1960, where McClain’s parents live, around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The baby was with McClain’s sister, deputies said. He was not harmed.
The sheriff’s office said that McClain tried to represent Keegan as her own child to family members. Her sister allegedly told authorities that McClain had plans to “do the adoption” after taking Keegan. Keegan was placed in CPS custody, but was released to unnamed family members late Wednesday morning. Keegan’s father, Keith Schuchardt, said he did not have his son. Schuchardt said he hasn’t yet signed Keegan’s birth certificate, complicating the process of getting his child back. “My son-in-law is trying to get his child, and they got to run background checks on everybody before we can even get our baby back. My daughter’s baby. It was my daughter that was murdered. And it’s just really sad,” said Linda Golden, the victim’s mother.
Keith Schuchardt said he was at work when he got the call about the shooting, and by the time he got to the hospital, his wife was dead. He said he didn’t know why anyone would want to harm her. “It’s just a random thing, I think. 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. I know that,” Schuchardt said. Though initial reports from the scene of the abduction indicated there was a man in the car with McClain, detectives on Wednesday morning said they believe she acted alone. Still, the investigation was ongoing, and investigators were planning to examine evidence and conduct additional interviews later in the day.