Update: Charges filed in case of missing Wisconsin baby

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

In a story drawing national headlines, federal prosecutors have charged a Denver woman with kidnapping after she allegedly took her half sister's newborn boy from a Beloit, Wisconsin, home.

Kristen Smith faces life in prison if she is convicted of kidnapping Kayden Powell, according to the Associated Press.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Smith pretended to be pregnant.

58 News in Madison, Wisconsin, reports that police arrested Smith on an unrelated warrant before police found Kayden. Smith's car allegedly contained several baby items including clothes, a car seat and a stroller, but not the child.

Smith initially denied any knowledge of the baby's whereabouts, according to court documents.

According to the 58 News report, police also found several e-mails on Smith's cell phone claiming she had given birth on Feb. 5. Also police reportedly discovered a prosthetic pregnancy belly inside the vehicle, and while searching Smith's Facebook page, investigators found postings by Smith claiming to be pregnant.

The AP reports an affidavit accompanying the kidnapping charge says Smith had come to visit the family in Wisconsin. She reportedly left for Denver early Thursday morning.

The baby's mother reported Kayden missing after waking to discover the child was not in his bassinet, around 4:30 a.m.

Before Kayden was found, authorities searched feverishly along the travel route back to Colorado. ABC News reported the massive search included dumpsters.

According to the Chicago Tribune, police say the boy was found Friday morning wrapped in blankets inside of a tote bag near a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, by the town's police chief. He and other officers had been checking areas along Interstate 80 for the missing child.

At a news conference, police said Kayden appeared to be in good health despite being discovered outside in frigid temperatures.

FBI acting special agent G.B. Jones said the chief heard the newborn crying and then discovered him.

"We're all very, very, fortunate this baby is alive," Jones said at the news conference.

Related

Next Up