- 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.


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.


2 Wis. men charged in theft of $5M violin

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Prosecutors say it was the suspect’s “dream theft”: to simply snatch an expensive Stradivarius violin from an unsuspecting musician.

Never mind that Salah Salahadyn, 41, had already tried and failed at art theft. The Milwaukee man pleaded guilty in 2000 to trying to resell a $25,000 statue to the art gallery owner from whom it had been stolen in 1995, and his ex-girlfriend told investigators that while he hadn’t stolen it himself he did plot the theft.

Salahadyn was sentenced to five years in prison for that crime. Now he could face up to 15 years in prison for a separate theft, after he and another suspect were charged Friday in connection with the January heist of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin valued at $5 million.

A confidential source told police that Salahadyn talked about stealing high-end art, the criminal complaint said.

“Salahadyn explained that his dream theft was a Stradivarius violin because of its potential value and the fact that it could be snatched from the hands of a musician as they walk down the street,” the complaint quoted the source as saying.

Salahadyn and a second man, Universal Knowledge Allah, 36, appeared in Milwaukee County court Friday on charges of being a party to robbery. Allah is also charged with possessing marijuana.

Court Commissioner Katharine Kucharski ordered cash bail of $10,000 for Salahadyn, citing a lengthy criminal record that includes theft and bail jumping, and $500 for Allah, whose record is clean.


SC Johnson deepens Racine area job cuts

RACINE, Wis. (AP) - SC Johnson is increasing the number of jobs cuts planned for the Racine area to 300 and possibly as high as 400, the consumer products giant said Friday.

Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson told employees of the revised job cuts Friday at company headquarters in Racine, The Journal Times (https://bit.ly/1cbJSPwhttps://bit.ly/1cbJSPw ) reported.

In October, the maker of Pledge and Windex announced plans to cut 100 to 200 jobs in southeastern Wisconsin as it restructures and reduces its global workforce.

Company spokeswoman Jam Stewart said Friday the cuts include “voluntary and involuntary” position cuts, and some that’ll be cut are currently open.

SC Johnson announced in October it was about to begin six months of planning to restructure the company worldwide, and wind up that planning in April. The actions themselves were expected to take place over the course of the company’s next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

However, that timetable has been moved up at least in part. Some specific position cuts will be made known to employees Tuesday, Stewart said. SC Johnson is not saying how many positions will be cut that day. Employees affected Tuesday will stay on for about three weeks, Stewart said.

The 100 to 200 job estimate in October would have been about 3 percent to 6 percent of the company’s Racine-area workforce of about 3,500. The revised numbers would mean SC Johnson job losses in the Racine area of about 8.5 percent to 11.5 percent.

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