Cady Harris' family had history of abuse

Difficult to break the cycle of domestic violence

The deadly shooting in Leavenworth is not the first tragedy to strike the family of 5-year-old Cadence Harris.

The little girl died Friday after her mom’s boyfriend allegedly took her on a high-speed chase.

She’s the second child of Christina Harris to have died. A third child of hers was taken by the state after allegations of abuse by a boyfriend.

Leavenworth Police confirmed an investigation into the death of Harris’s first child in 2006. They decided to look into the case two years after the death when a boyfriend of Harris’s was charged with abusing another infant son. That child went to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Leavenworth Police determined her first child died of natural causes.

However, the Rose Brooks Center sees similar cycles of domestic violence every day with more than 100 beds filled nightly at their shelter.

Cady Harris got caught in the middle of a fight between her mom and her boyfriend Marcas McGowan which Christina said started over jealousy.

“He said if I didn't enter my facebook password he was going to shoot me and he started to go for the gun which was in the center console,” explained Harris.

Later that evening, Cady died following the police chase and shootout.

It’s not unusual for people to return to abuse like Cady’s mom did so many times explained Amanda Siebold, a shelter supervisor at the Rose Brooks Center.

“The emotional component of the human need for connection is very strong and when that's the only person you have a connection with its really scary to think about walking away from that,” Siebold said.

Court documents show the abuse between Harris and the suspect McGowan extended back to 2012.

Harris said, “I had feared for my own life but never my daughter's.” She added that McGowan always promised to change but it never lasted long.

“What I'd like for us, as a whole society, in a culture at large to be able to shift the conversation in some ways from why did she got back to why does he keep beating her?” Siebold said.

The Leavenworth County Attorney plans to announce charges in the case Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Resources for domestic violence victims: 

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