- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014
Court papers: Woman faked pregnancy, stole baby

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - An hour after a woman reported her newborn son missing from a Wisconsin home, police were questioning her step-sister - found with a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller, but no baby, according to court documents.

It was more than 24 hours after Kayden Powell went missing before authorities discovered the infant, less than a week old, in a plastic storage crate outside an Iowa gas station, miraculously alive and well despite frigid temperatures.

Kristen Smith of Denver had pretended to be pregnant, went to Wisconsin and stole her step-sister’s baby from his bassinet as his parents slept, court documents say. Then, as police closed in on her, she allegedly abandoned the infant, who was swaddled in blankets.

Federal prosecutors in Madison charged Smith with kidnapping Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief found Kayden.

“He’s strong,” the newborn’s great-uncle, Mark Bennett, said of the boy. “I’m glad that baby is still living instead of in a ditch somewhere on a strange highway.”

The discovery of the infant shortly after 10 a.m. Friday capped a frantic search that involved police officers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

It began after the boy’s mother, Brianna Marshall, called police around 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report her newborn had vanished from Bennett’s home, where she and the baby’s father, Bruce Powell, had been staying, according to police and the affidavit.

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Court papers: Woman faked pregnancy, stole baby

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - Authorities say a woman accused of stealing her half-sister’s infant from a Wisconsin home had pretended to be pregnant.

An hour after Kayden Powell was reported missing, police found the half-sister in Iowa. Court documents say officers discovered a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller in the half-sister’s car. But there was no baby.

It would be another day before authorities discovered the missing infant in a plastic storage crate outside an Iowa gas station, alive and well, despite frigid temperatures.

Federal prosecutors in Madison charged Kristen Smith of Denver with kidnapping Friday afternoon. The charges came hours after an Iowa police chief miraculously found Kayden, who was swaddled in blankets.

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