Authorities say investigation still active, but make arrest in death of Cady Harris

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Leavenworth police announced Monday night potential charges and an arrest in connection with the shooting death of  a five-year-old girl.

Authorities believe 30-year-old Marcus McGowan killed Cady Harris on Friday night in the midst of her abduction, a police chase and shootout.

McGowan is from Atchison, Kan., but remains in a Kansas City area hospital where he is being held on suspicion of first-degree felony murder and aggravated kidnapping, among other charges.

Police have waited several days before announcing this arrest. It's an investigation they say is far from over; but Monday's developments mean Cady's mother, Christy Harris, is one step closer to getting some closure.

"I'm just tired of watching TV and I wanted to hear it with my own ears," Harris said after a news conference at the Leavenworth Justice Center.

Although authorities were still mum on many details surrounding Cady's death, they did make one big announcement: the arrest of McGowan.

"This investigation is nowhere near its completion," said Mark Malick, special agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigations. "We have reached a point today where we are able to officially present charges."

Six potential charges against McGowan include felony first-degree murder; aggravated kidnapping; aggravated endangering of a child; aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer; felony fleeing and eluding; and criminal possession of a firearm.

It's now up to Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson to formally file those charges.

"This is the first step in a very long process," said Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens.

McGowan is no stranger to law enforcement, as court records show, he has spent time in prison.

Harris dated him on and off for five years and said he has abused her in the past. However, she said McGowan never laid a hand on Cady and although he was not the child's biological father, he acted like one.

"She loved him and he claimed that he loved her just as much," Harris said. "I had feared for my own life but never for my daughter's. Now I'm hoping he pays for what he did to my daughter."

Police say there is no timeline for when Thompson will file those charges.

In the meantime, they're asking the public for more help in piecing together the rest of their investigation. If you saw or heard anything that night, call the Kansas Bureau of Investigations.​

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  • kevellena leestrom

    the mother is an idiot and should be charged for staying with this monster if he abused her and allowed him to be with her daughter. she should be charged with endangering the welfare of a child

  • Wendy Barnes

    What a hopelessly naive or in-denial woman. What is wrong with her parents, allowing a man who abuses their daughter in front of their granddaughter? You see how the woman came by her crazy thinking.

  • Sean Lance

    “I feared for my own life, but never for my daughter’s”. You, my dear, are an idiot. If a man is willing to employ violence against his woman, he’ll employ violence against anyone. This includes children. As the child’s mother, you had an obligation to keep your daughter safe from people like this dangerous man and you not only failed to do so, you invited him to share your home and your life, at the expense of your child’s safety. It was pure thoughtless selfishness, on your part. I am very sorry that a child has lost her life, but I can’t bring myself to see you as blameless.

  • Ben

    It sickens me to hear about women living with a thug because she claims he is good to her children even though he may beat her on a regular basis. If someone uses drugs around you or your children, it is time to flee and if you choose to stay, you have to live with the consequences.

  • Ray Y

    The truth is this whole family is messed up the brother of the suspect is currently in the middle of a custody battle with the mother of one of his sons, he is currently in contempt of a atchison judges orders to release there son to his mother after keeping him from her for almost 73 days. The shooting happened a day after the judge order mr. McGowan to give the sone back to the mother, also during the hearing the suspect in the shooting became disruptive several times and the judge threatened to remove him from the court, if the judge was doing his job he would have held the man in contempt and had him arrested in which they would have found out that he currently had a warrant and this whole mess may have been prevented, as you can see the apple does not fall far from the tree

  • Gail Freeman

    ok the grandmother said the little girl jumped in the suv that’s not an abduction and it clearly stated he jumped out and started firing at police they fired back hitting him I don’t no but if im being chased and the police are there all along I stop my car jump out and start shooting when did he have time to decide to shoot the little girl I don’t care what drug your on when you see the face of a child you love reguardless of whats going on between mom your not gonna make that snap judgement and mom if you were just threatened with a gun and you no dad is on meth why did leave your child while you were using the phone and mom had other babies injured in bad relationships and moms had trouble with the law yes please do invesitagate

      • whyisitalwaysaracething?

        Race has NOTHING to do with it. Don’t be so ignorant, there’s plenty black men taking care of white babies because their deadbeat white father aren’t around and vice versa.

    • Nick

      Hate crimes are not allowed in prisons anymore. We must protect the rapists!…said with sarcasm for those of you who are bleeding heart liberals. Let these type of people live with you!

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