The woman who was videotaped while allegedly beating her 4-year-old daughter in a shopping mall parking lot will turn herself into authorities Saturday morning, her lawyer said.
Steven "Rocket" Rosen told ABCNEWS that the woman, identified by police as Madelyn Gorman Toogood, will turn herself and her 4-year-old daughter Martha into Mishawaka, Ind. police.
Toogood apparently is seen on a Sept. 13 store surveillance tape punching and shaking the child for about 30 seconds, after she placed the girl in the back seat of a sports utility vehicle. The Mishawaka Police Department decided to release the tape to TV stations on Thursday, and it has since shocked viewers around the nation.
Police have been desperately trying to locate Gorman and her daughter because they fear the girl could be seriously injured. A doctor who saw the tape said the little girl could have suffered head, neck and brain injuries, Assistant Mishawaka Police Chief Mike Samp told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
"At this point, we have no idea where they are," St. Joseph County Prosecutor Christopher Toth said earlier today. "Our primary concern is the safety of this little girl and making sure she receives medical attention."
Police said that were not negotiating for the woman's arrest but only hoped that she would be persuaded to turn herself in.
Prosecutors say the woman's sister, Margaret Daley, 31, who had been with her in the store, has already been arrested. She faces charges of failing to report child abuse, while the child's mother could face felony battery charges in the alleged beating. Police also said Gorman's relatives have not been very helpful either in the investigation, making them suspect that she may still be in Indiana.
"We think she's still in the area," Samp said. "That's why we've gone to the national media with this, because we want to do everything we can so she gets the idea that there's no place, she won't be able to go, where hopefully she won't be spotted and at that point we can then take control of the child."
Girl's Father has Been Cooperative
The girl's father has been cooperative in the investigation, according to police. Samp said the father says he has no idea where the woman and the girl are located.
Police say the beating occurred after the two women seen on the security tape tried to return merchandise at a Kohl's department store here, just east of South Bend near the Michigan border, but were refused. Since releasing the videotape, police received more than 1,000 calls.
Authorities learned about Gorman's identity from Lyn Johnson, principal of Walt Disney Elementary School in Mishawaka, where two of the woman's older children attended school. Johnson said she recognized the woman immediately and called police.
Samp said it's store camera policy to follow customers who try to return merchandise into the parking lot. That is why, he said, the camera had been zoomed in on the woman when the beating began.
Police said the sports utility vehicle shown in the video had Texas license plates and was eventually found at an area apartment complex, but was not registered to either of the women shown on the tape.