Kristen Smith accused of kidnapping Kayden Powell

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by Chris Patterson

MADISON -- 31-year-old Kristen Smith is charged with kidnapping for allegedly taking baby Kayden Powell from his home in the Town of Beloit and transporting him across state lines.

The federal criminal complaint alleges Smith, Kayden's aunt from Denver, took Kayden from his home in the Town of Beloit on February 6th. Police say Kayden's mother, 18-year-old Brianna Marshall, called 911 around 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report her son, born February 1, as missing. She told authorities he was taken out of his crib at a home in the 800 block of Homeland Court where several family members were sleeping. She told police her sister Kristen Smith planned to leave the home around 2:00 a.m. to drive back to her home in Denver, Colorado.

Before police found Kayden, Smith was arrested in Iowa on an unrelated warrant. When police searched Smith's vehicle they found baby clothing, a car seat, stroller, but did not find Kayden in the car.

The federal complaint says investigators found several e-mails on her cell phone stating she had given birth on February 5, 2014. The complaint also says police found a prosthetic pregnancy belly in Smith's vehicle. While searching Smith's Facebook page, investigators found postings by Smith claiming she was pregnant. 

Police found Kayden outside of a gas station in West Branch, Iowa around 10:15 a.m. on February 7th. He was found inside a tote bag swaddled in blankets. Emergency medical personnel say Kayden appears to be in excellent health.

If Smith is convicted of federal charges related to kidnapping, she could be sentenced to life in prison.

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