Baby abducted, mom killed arrest made - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Baby abducted, mom killed, arrest made

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(Photo: KTRK) (Photo: KTRK)

Courtesy KTRK

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A woman accused of killing a mother, then stealing her three-day-old baby is behind bars and the baby has been reunited with relatives.

Capital murder charges were filed against registered nurse Verna DeAnn McClain, 30, overnight.

"Ms. McClain is currently charged with capital murder. Here in Texas, capital murder requires a felony to have been committed in the course of committing the murder," said Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon. "It's obviously something we take very seriously and as part of it, we are requesting Ms. McClain be held with no bond."

It all started in the parking lot of a clinic off Borough Park and Sawdust in The Woodlands late Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say Kala Golden, 28, was leaving a check-up with her three-day-old son, Keegan Schuchardt, when she got into an argument with McClain in a parked Lexus.

Witnesses say the woman believed to be McClain shot Golden several times, snatched her baby and then drove off, hitting Golden as she screamed and chased after them.

Golden was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Bryce and Mason Pizzonia live just minutes from the pediatrician's office in Montgomery County, and as more details emerge they are more and more confused about what happened there Tuesday afternoon.

Bryce said, "You don't go steal somebody else's kid, and you sure as heck don't shoot somebody to take their child."

A description of the shooter's vehicle led law enforcement to a nearby apartment and to conversation with McClain. As the investigation unfolded, authorities developed new leads that led them to an apartment in Harris County, where they found the infant.

Ligon explained, "With the evidence we were able to obtain from the scene, as well as statements from other witnesses, and then finally from the defendant herself, we charged her last night with capital murder."

As for McClain's alleged motive, according to a court document, McClain talked to her sister, Corina. The document states that McClain, "had been discussing that she would be adopting a child soon. After killing Golden, and kidnapping Keegan, defendant stated to Corina that she now has the child..."

The document goes on "indicating the abduction was the motive for killing Golden."

During an afternoon press conference, officials said that McClain was engaged to be married, and had suffered a miscarriage. She allegedly presented the child as her own.

"Initially the information is that she did have a miscarriage," said Capt. Bruce Zenor with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. "She needed to justify having a child to her soon-to-be fiance and she needed a child."

Authorities say it appeared that Golden was chosen at random, but McClain was familiar with the clinic from taking her own children to be cared for there. McClain has at least two children of her own, and officials say they are staying with a family member in Montgomery County.

McClain is being held without bond. She is housed alone in a single cell, but is not under a suicide watch.

At the home where the baby was discovered Tuesday night, neighbors describe what happened as one patrol car after another pulled onto their street.

Neighbor Kathleen Yanock recalled, "I saw an unmarked car pull up quickly. He had a cowboy hat on. I'm pretty sure that was the Texas Ranger. Then the sheriff's car right after that pulled up. They went inside, and they got the baby."

While none of this makes sense to residents like Bryce Pizzonia, one thing is clear to him.

"I want the woman who did this to be punished to the full extent of the law, and even past that maybe a little bit," Bryce said.

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.

The victim's relatives are elated that baby Keegan is alive and well, but mourning the death of his mother. Keegan's father, Kevin Schuchardt, says the reason he was not reunited with the infant last night is because his name is not on the child's birth certificate.

Keegan and his two siblings, ages one and three, are with Kala Golden's relatives. CPS officials say they have routine steps to take before Keegan's father will officially have the children returned to his custody. However, he is free to visit with the kids as much as he wants until that happens.

Schuchardt is mourning the loss of Kala, as he struggles to put the pieces of their family life back together.

"She's the best girl I've ever been with. She's good for kids, good with kids, helped me out through a lot of stuff. I don't know what I'm going to do," he said. "It was wonderful (to hold Keegan last night). It was nice to know that he was still alive."

Kala's mother also spoke briefly with reporters Wednesday morning. She says her daughter was a wonderful mother who would have done anything to protect her kids.

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

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.

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