Federal kidnapping charges filed against aunt of baby Kayden Powell

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Federal kidnapping charges were filed Friday, Feb. 7, against a woman police say stole a newborn baby from a Town of Beloit home a day earlier.

Kristen Smith, 31, was charged in the U.S. District Court in Madison Friday, just hours after police located her and the child in West Branch, Iowa.

Prosecutors say Smith snatched 6-day-old Kayden Smith sometime before 4:30 a.m., from the home of his parents, 18-year-old Brianna Marshall and Bruce Powell, 23.

Marshall’s half-sister, Smith was arrested at a gas station along I-80  at around 10 a.m., Friday. Police believe she was on her way to her Colorado home and planned to tell friends she gave birth to Kayden. According to the complaint, Smith was in possession of baby clothing, and a fake pregnancy belly she had allegedly used in the scam.

“Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive, and appears to be doing very well,” Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp said. “In the words of EMS officials, he is in excellent health.”

Kayden has been returned to his parents.

Smith is being charged in the U.S. District Court because he allegedly took the child across state lines. She faces life in prison if convicted.

Feb. 7, 2014

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