Mom seeks answers after daughter, 5, killed in shootout - KCTV5 News

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Mom seeks answers after daughter, 5, killed in shootout

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The family of 5-year-old Cadence Harris were getting an update from investigators Monday at the Leavenworth County Justice Center. The family of 5-year-old Cadence Harris were getting an update from investigators Monday at the Leavenworth County Justice Center.
Cadence's mother, Christina Harris, left, said she and Marcus McGowan, the man who allegedly kidnapped the 5-year-old on Friday, got into a fight. Cadence's mother, Christina Harris, left, said she and Marcus McGowan, the man who allegedly kidnapped the 5-year-old on Friday, got into a fight.
Christina Harris said Marcus McGowan (pictured) pulled a gun on her, so she had to run to a neighbor's house to call police. By the time she went back to the home, he had taken her daughter. Christina Harris said Marcus McGowan (pictured) pulled a gun on her, so she had to run to a neighbor's house to call police. By the time she went back to the home, he had taken her daughter.
LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -

The mother of a young Kansas girl killed following a police chase and shootout wants investigators to take their time in gathering the strongest case possible against the man who allegedly kidnapped the child.

"I want it to be thorough," an emotional Christina Harris said Monday morning. "They are doing the best they can so he doesn't get away with this."

Harris' 5-year-old daughter, Cadence Harris, died Friday night after Harris' boyfriend, Marcus McGowen, allegedly abducted her and became involved in a high-speed chase with authorities. McGowan allegedly turned his weapon on police after he crashed in a construction zone and they fired multiple shots at him.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says gunfire from officers did not hit Cadence or the suspect's vehicle but have not directly accused McGowan of killing Cadence. However, authorities have arrested McGowan for first-degree felony murder, and have asked prosecutors to charge him with that as well as kidnapping and numerous additional charges.

McGowan, who was wanted on a contempt of court violation, is recovering from his gunshot wounds in a Kansas City area hospital. He could be charged as early as Tuesday in connection with Tuesday's tragedy.

Harris and other members of her family got an update from investigators Monday at the Leavenworth County Justice Center.

KBI officials, Leavenworth police and Leavenworth County District Attorney Todd Thompson met to discuss the progress of the investigation.

Harris said she and McGowan got into a fight on Friday.

Harris said he pulled a gun on her, so she had to run to a neighbor's house to call police. By the time she went back to the home, McGowan had taken her daughter.

McGowan, 30, was not the child's biological father, but he had an on-again off-again relationship with Harris and was like a father to Cadence, family members say.

McGowan has spent time in prison, court records show, and had an active warrant for his arrest after missing an Atchison County court hearing Thursday in a domestic violence case involving Harris.

Harris said Cadence's body is being released Monday from the autopsy and she will now begin the difficult work of making funeral arrangements for her daughter.

"Right now, we're just moving onto the funeral. I found out where her body is, and we've got to just worry about that now," Harris said as she broke down into tears.

Harris is asking anyone who may have seen any part of the crime spree to call 1-800-KS-CRIME. She said she believes motorists may have filmed the chase on their smartphones.

"It's important because they want to build the strongest case they can," she said, adding police need to speak with all witnesses.

Her daughter, who was known as Cady, loved to dance and was good at art. Cadence's funeral will be Friday.

To help with Cadence's funeral expenses, her family asked that donations be made via GoFundMe or in cash at High Noon Saloon & Brewery, 206 Choctaw St., in Leavenworth. Click here to donate online.

Fundraising events and funeral information will be posted on the Angels for Cadence Facebook page as they are scheduled.

This is the second child that Harris has buried. She lost an infant son in 2006 to what was ruled at the time as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The baby's death was re-examined in 2008 when a four-month-old infant by Harris nearly died.

According to a Leavenworth Times article from 2008, the baby suffered life-threatening injuries that included a broken leg, broken rib, skull fracture and brain hemorrhaging. Bryan Quinley was accused of abuse, but he was acquitted of the allegation, officials have told KCTV5.

The baby survived the 2008 abuse and was placed in foster care. The child remains in foster care.

Harris told police that she was asleep when her baby was abused in 2008. She said she took the baby to the hospital when she noticed something was wrong, according to the Leavenworth newspaper.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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