Nurse who stole baby hid miscarriage
Chicago - A Texas nurse has been charged with murder for shooting a young mother and kidnapping her three-day-old baby outside a paediatrician's office, officials said on Wednesday.
Verna McClain, aged 30, had recently sustained a miscarriage but did not tell her fiancé about it, police said. She allegedly kidnapped the baby in hopes of passing him off as her own.
"The investigation so far would indicate this was a random choice on her part," Lieutenant Dan Norris of the Montgomery County sheriff department told reporters.
"I think she knew the pattern at the paediatric centre because she had taken her children there in the past."
Police managed to find the unharmed baby after several desperate hours of searching by tracing the suspect's Lexus to a nearby apartment complex.
McClain didn't have the baby when she returned home, but told police little Keegan Schuchardt could be found at her sister's house.
"To recover a child who was kidnapped and a mother killed by a stranger with no connection within five or six hours is as good of police work as you can do," Norris said at a press conference.
McClain was parked in front of a paediatrician's office in Spring, Texas, when Kala Golden, aged 28, emerged with her son after a check-up on Tuesday afternoon.
She allegedly shot Golden multiple times and grabbed the baby, but Golden kept fighting even as blood was pouring out of her wounds.
Golden tried to grab her son out the car and was knocked to the ground as it sped away. Witnesses said she was screaming "my baby" as she struggled to get Keegan back.
Witnesses used Golden's cellphone to contact her husband and mother. She died in hospital before her husband could get there.
Keith Schuchardt said that while he couldn't understand why anyone would want to harm his wife he was relieved to have his son back safe in his arms.
"It was nice to know he's still alive," the distraught father told reporters outside his home.
The shooting sent shockwaves through the community.
"I feel so, so, so terrible for the family and the baby that will never get to know his mother," neighbour Amanda Johnson told KHOU news.
"I can't imagine. I have an 8-year-old. I can't imagine not being able to see him grow up. It's really sad."
McClain - a registered nurse who works for a staffing agency - was held without bond and was "remorseful" about what happened, police said. Her two children are being cared for by family.