Mom slain, abducted baby found safe; 1 in custody

JUAN A. LOZANO
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This undated photo provided by the Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital via the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office shows a newborn baby boy who was abducted from his screaming mother after she was repeatedly shot outside a suburban Houston pediatric center on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The infant was wearing a green-and-white one-piece outfit displaying the word "handsome." (AP Photo/Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

SPRING, Texas (AP) — The mother of a woman who was shot to death as her newborn son was snatched from her arms outside a suburban pediatric center near Houston said her daughter died "trying to save her baby."

The 3-day-old boy was found safe around 8 p.m. Tuesday, about six hours after his mother, Kala Marie Golden, was killed following an argument in a parking lot, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said.

Ligon said the child was "healthy" and that a person of interest had been detained, although no charges had been filed. He would not provide any details about the person.

Golden was leaving the Northwoods Pediatric Center in Spring after a checkup with her son, Keegan, about 2 p.m. when she and a woman in a Lexus parked next to her pickup truck began to argue, Montgomery County sheriff's Lt. Dan Norris said.

Witnesses said the woman repeatedly shot Golden, took the infant and sped away, hitting the dying mother as she tried to reach into the Lexus screaming, "My baby!" Norris said.

Witnesses also reported hearing as many as seven gunshots and said a man also was in the sky blue or light green Lexus, which was blood-stained on the driver's side, Norris said.

Golden's mother, Linda Golden, told the AP later Tuesday that she had been baby-sitting another of Kala's sons when someone at the scene called her using her daughter's cellphone. She rushed to the clinic but was unable to see her daughter because paramedics were trying to save her.

"I wanted to kiss her before they put her in the ambulance," Linda Golden said.

Ligon wouldn't say where the infant was found, but he said it wasn't at a nearby apartment complex where officers wielding guns and riot shields searched earlier Tuesday evening. Spring is about 20 miles north of Houston.

Investigators were processing evidence Tuesday night at one apartment in the complex that was searched, and they took away a vehicle that was parked in front. Photographs taken by news media at the scene show the vehicle was a light-colored Lexus.

Joshua Jesson said he was in the clinic with his girlfriend when he heard gunshots. He said he saw a Lexus next to the pickup truck, then later looked back and saw the car was gone and a woman lying in the spot where the Lexus had been parked.

"I thought she just passed out. Then somebody ran in here and said, 'Somebody got shot,'" he said.

Police quickly surrounded the clinic and much of the parking lot with crime-scene tape, and yellow markers were placed next to a purse and pair of brown sandals near a red pickup truck. Spent ammunition also was nearby.

Authorities late Tuesday were doing background checks on family members with the hope of returning Keegan to them on Wednesday.

Linda Golden described her daughter as sweet-natured and kind.

"We went everywhere together and did everything together," she said.

She said she had no idea what could have sparked the slaying and abduction.

"That's the hardest she's ever fought," Linda Golden said. "She died trying to save her baby."