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CNN LIVE ON LOCATION

Mother Sought After Caught on Tape Beating Child

Aired September 20, 2002 - 14:10   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: This mother is wanted by police after being caught on a surveillance tape. Madelyne Gorman Toogood was allegedly hitting her little girl. Police are concerned she may have injured the child.
Our Gary Tuchman is live in Indiana with the latest.

I guess allegedly is being a little light with this. It's a surveillance camera, it's very clear that she was beating her child, wasn't it?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the best way to put it, Miles: alleged battery. That would be the legal charge, but she definitely hit this little girl.

It's been exactly one week since this 25-year-old mother attacked this 4-year-old girl in the backseat of the car. Unbeknownst to the mother, it was all on video.

Now, this happened a week ago. You may be wondering why you're just hearing about it over the last couple of days. Conscious decision here by the police department. Initially, they didn't want to release the video to the news media, afraid they would scare the mother away. Now they've decided to release it nationally, hoping that someone recognizes Madelyne Gorman, 25 years old. Just started pounding away at the child after looking back to make sure no one was watching. Hit her on the head, shook her, pulled her hair.

It all happened because she was inside a Kohl's department store here in northern Indiana. Inside the store he was with her sister, with her daughter, with another child. According to the store, she wanted to return some merchandise, but the store said it wasn't from the store. She got angry. They thought she was suspicious, so the store trained the security cameras on her as she went into the parking lot and the alert security camera operator then zoomed in as she was doing this and later zoomed in on the license plate. It was a Texas license plate, through looking at the license plate, authorities here in Indiana were able to find out her name is indeed Madelyne Gorman. She is married.

Authorities here have talked to her husband. The husband is not being helpful whatsoever in finding this woman.

Obviously, they want to find the woman. But they're more concerned about finding the 4-year-old little girl who, was obviously attacked and could be seriously hurt. Now, here's a strange coincidence: this is a mug shot of Madelyne Gorman. She was arrested six months ago in Texas. Arrested in Terrant County, Texas for allegedly shoplifting at another Kohl's department store, shoplifiting items between $50 and $500 in value. She did not show up in court on her court date in May. An arrest warrant is out for her from Texas.

With us right now is the chief of detectives here in Mishawaka, Indiana. This is Mike Samp. Mike I want to ask you first of all, are we any closer to finding this woman and more importantly, this little girl?

MIKE SAMP, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES IN MISHAWAKA, INDIANA: Well, hopefully, with the help of the media, we are exerting the pressure on -- on family members to try and turn the child over. Also, what we're trying to do is trying to get this face out amongst the public so if anyone sees her, they can call us right away so we can get her some medical attention.

TUCHMAN: We understand this mother is basically part of a traveling group of nomads. They travel around looking for work, they go to different places. That must make it harder to find out from these family members what's going on in this case.

SAMP: Well, first of all, I want to say that this particular act that we're investigating is an act of one person against one child. But certainly we have had some difficulty trying to locate the mother and it is making it extremely difficult to try and locate them.

TUCHMAN: Are any of the family members who you've encountered being cooperative in any way, shape or form?

SAMP: Well, we have talked to a couple of family members. They have expressed the desire to help. Hopefully that will bear fruit and we will be able to be in contact with the child.

TUCHMAN: You're worried about this little girl, aren't you?

SAMP: We are very worried, yes.

TUCHMAN: Mike, thanks for talking to us. We appreciate it.

You understand that it's not only this one woman who was accused with this brutality with the child but also the sister who went inside of the store. There are charges against her. The sister's name is Margaret Daley. Margaret Daley has been charged with not reporting child abuse. She could get up to six months in prison if found guilty of the charges.

Regarding Madelyne Gorman, you might think she could spend a long time in prison on charges like this. It's only a maximum of three years behind bars.

Miles, back to you.

O'BRIEN:: CNN's Gary Tuchman in Indiana. Thank you very much. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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