UPDATE: Kristen Smith charged with kidnapping Kayden Powell - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Kristen Smith charged with kidnapping Kayden Powell

Posted: Updated:
Kristen Rose Smith, 31, of Denver, Colo. Kristen Rose Smith, 31, of Denver, Colo.
Kayden Powell, hours after he was found alive Kayden Powell, hours after he was found alive
Kayden Powell Kayden Powell
TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (KWWL) - The aunt of a newborn baby stolen from his mother's bedroom Thursday morning was charged Friday with kidnapping after police say she concocted a fake pregnancy back story on Facebook that included a real-life prosthetic pregnancy belly.

Kristen Rose Smith, 31, of Denver, Colo., was charged Friday afternoon with kidnapping, a federal offense because the infant was taken across state lines.

Smith was taken into custody Thursday morning on an unrelated warrant out of Texas and was still being held at the Cedar County Jail in Tipton.

Police allege that Smith took Kayden Powell, then just 5 days old, from a home in Wisconsin and transported him across state lines to Iowa.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., by Special Agent Bryan Baker with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The assistant U.S. Attorney's Office will handle prosecution.

If convicted, Smith faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The affidavit shows that Smith had been at a Beloit, Wis., residence where the baby and the baby's parents were staying. Officials allege Smith had planned to leave the residence at 2 a.m. Thursday in order to drive home to Denver, Colo.

Kayden's mother, Brianna Marshall, called police at 4:30 a.m. when she awoke to find Kayden missing, according to the affidavit. She told police that Smith had left earlier.

Police then say Smith called Marshall's grandmother at 4:54 a.m. while Beloit Police officers were still at the residence. When an officer talked to Smith, Smith said that Marshall, Marshall's boyfriend and the infant had been planning to move to Denver on Saturday to live with Smith, according to the affidavit.

Smith told the officer she had Kayden's clothing in the car with her but not Kayden. Officers told Smith to pull over at the nearest gas station so law enforcement could speak with her, according to the affidavit.

Smith called police back at 5:21 a.m., noting she was at the Kum & Go gas station off of Interstate 80 in West Branch, Iowa, according to the affidavit.

West Branch Police then searched Smith's car, finding baby clothing, a car seat and stroller, but not Kayden, according to the affidavit.

When records revealed Smith had an outstanding warrant from Texas, she was taken into custody.

After being taken to Cedar County Jail, Smith told the FBI she had no knowledge of the child's whereabouts, according to the affidavit. She did consent to a search of her cell phone, Facebook account and car.

Officials say Smith's emails and Facebook posts claimed she was pregnant and had given birth Feb. 5. After a pregnancy test, Smith was not determined to have been pregnant, according to the affidavit.

Officials also found a prosthetic pregnancy belly inside Smith's vehicle.

According to the affidavit, Smith failed a polygraph test regarding the location of Kayden Powell.

Smith later told officials Kayden's parents had given Kayden to a family member in Chicago and continued to deny involvement in his disappearance, according to the affidavit.

At 10:06 a.m. Friday, a West Branch police officer found Kayden behind the BP gas station in West Branch, about 500 yards from the Kum & Go, according to the affidavit. He was wrapped in blankets inside of a plastic tote box.

Kayden's parents identified him as their missing son, according to the affidavit.

After Kayden was found, Smith admitted to taking him from the Wisconsin home. She also provided law enforcement with a hand-drawn map of where Kayden was found.

-------------------

PREVIOUS STORY:

A police officer followed the sound of a missing newborn's cries and found him in a tote swaddled in blankets Friday morning near a West Branch gas station, according to police.

Town of Beloit police told the media Friday morning that 6-day-old Kayden Powell was discovered alive by the West Branch Police Chief at 10:15 a.m. Friday in a tote, swaddled in blankets, "at a gas station near Interstate 80" in West Branch.

"Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive, and appears to be doing very well," said Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp during the 11 a.m. news conference in the Town of Beloit. "In the words of EMS officials, he is in excellent health."

Kopp said Kayden's family was notified and law enforcement will be reuniting the baby with his family. It was unclear if he was first taken to a local hospital.

It was also unclear if Kayden was found in a tote bag, as police described in the news conference, or a plastic tote, as police described it in the audio recordings of the call. Officials declined to elaborate.

Kopp credited several state and local law enforcement agencies for helping to locate the baby, including the Town of Beloit Police Department, Beloit Police Department, Rock County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin Dept. of Justice, the FBI, the Illinois State Police, the Iowa State Patrol and the West Branch Police Department.

Kopp also thanked the media for getting the word out about the disappearance.

Officials said police were still investigating, and potential charges could be filed against Kristen Rose Smith of Denver, Colo., who was still being considered a "person of interest" in the case.

A manager at the BP in West Branch said the baby was found at their gas station.

----------------

PREVIOUS STORY:

A police officer watched over the home in the Town of Beloit where a newborn disappeared early Thursday morning.

Several law enforcement agencies have been working on the case around the clock, checking on any new leads that came into police overnight.

Crime scene tape still surrounds the home at 836 E. Homeland Ct. Friday morning, more than 24 hours after 5-day-old Kayden Powell was reported missing by his mother, Brianna Marshall.

The Town of Beloit Police Department plans a news conference to update the public at 11 a.m. Friday.

------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

Town of Beloit Police provided no new hope in the search for Kayden Powell during a 6 p.m. Thursday news conference.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp said approximately 40 officers and agents are working on the case from multiple agencies, including the Rock Co. Sheriff's Office and the FBI.

Kopp says they continue to locate and question family members and friends about 5-day-old Kayden's disappearance.

The infant was reported missing by his mother, Brianna Marshall, at 4:34 a.m. Thursday, according to Chief Kopp.

Marshall says she woke in the house where she and others were staying on East Homeland Court in the Town of Beloit, and Kayden was not in his bassinet.

Police report no signs of forced entry.

Kopp emphasized at the Thursday evening news conference his department has no suspects and has made no arrests in the case, but Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said numerous leads are coming in at a rapid rate.

The Beloit Daily News reports police as saying Kristen Rose Smith of Denver, Colo., questioned by authorities earlier Thursday, is not a person of interest in the case.

Town of Beloit Police say she left the home where Marshall and Powell were staying in the early morning hours of Thursday, before the child was reported missing.

Authorities reached her by phone in West Branch, Iowa, where she was questioned about the disappearance. She was arrested on an unrelated, outstanding warrant out of Texas.

-----------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

A woman was arrested in West Branch on Thursday in connection with the disappearance of a days-old baby from Wisconsin, but the baby has not been located.

Kristen Rose Smith of Denver, Colo., the half-sister of a Beloit newborn's mother, was arrested Thursday morning on a felony warrant out of Texas and is being held in the Cedar County Jail.

Smith has not been charged in Kayden Powell's disappearance, and the baby has not been found.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp said Smith had articles of baby clothing with her, but Kayden was not with her. He added FBI agents were on their way to Iowa to speak to Smith.

Kopp said Smith left the home where Powell was staying in the early hours of Thursday morning, before Powell's parents reported him missing.

Family members told our sister station WKOW the woman and the child's mother had talked about moving to Colorado after Kayden was born.

We will continue to update you with more information as it develops.

------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp says a missing newborn was taken from a home he does not regularly live at.

Newborn Kayden Powell and his parents were at the home because of an illness in the family, Kopp said Thursday.

The newborn's parents, mother's brother, and a friend are being interviewed by police. Chief Kopp says the boy's parents are distraught over his disappearance.

An Amber Alert was not issued in the case because a suspect or suspect vehicle has not been identified.

------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp says a missing newborn and his parents were staying overnight at a different home than their own because of an illness in the family.

Kayden Powell, his mother and father were staying with his mother's brother and a friend. The brother and friend are being interviewed by police.

Kopp says the boy's parents are distraught over his disappearance.

An Amber Alert was not issued in the case because a suspect or suspect vehicle has not been identified.

-------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

A missing newborn's parents were not in a custody dispute over him, police in Wisconsin say.

Powell's parents, Brianna Marshall, 18, and Bruce Powell, 23, were staying at the home, but Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp says it does not appear to be a custody dispute.

The newborn is described as African-American, five days old, 20 inches long, 6 pounds, and with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with any information on the incident is encouraged to call the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244 or Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

The home is being processed for physical evidence.

------------

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

A Wisconsin mother woke up Thursday morning to find her days-old newborn gone.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp says the newborn's name is Kayden J. Powell. His mother woke up to find her son missing from his bassinet, which was in the same room where she was sleeping.

The two individuals being questioned are a relative and a friend of the family who were at the home the previous evening. Kopp said they were not in custody and investigators don't have any suspects.

The Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI have joined in the investigation. The house is being processed as a crime scene and interviews are taking place.

We will update you here as this story develops.

-------------

ORIGINAL STORY:

Police are looking for a 5-day-old baby taken from a Town of Beloit, Wis., home in the 800 block of Homeland Court early Thursday morning.

Police say the newborn's mother called 911 around 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report her child missing.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp said two people who were at the home Wednesday evening are being questioned, but no arrests have been made.

Town of Beloit Police are working with the Beloit Police Department and the Rock County Sheriff's Office on the investigation.

Brianna Marshall, 18, and Bruce Powell, 23, were staying at the home, but Kopp says it does not appear to be a custody dispute.

The newborn is described as African-American, five days old, 20 inches long, 6 pounds, and with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with any information on the incident is encouraged to call the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244 or Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

Kopp said an Amber Alert was not issued because the case does not meet the criteria.

The home is being processed for physical evidence.

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • August is Summer Sun Safety Month

    August is Summer Sun Safety Month

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:40 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:40:15 GMT
    Improper usage of sunscreen by your viewers may cause the very burn they are trying to prevent. Five bad sunburns can double your lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Sunscreen only when applied or used properly will help. The UVA ray are primarily responsible for skin again also. The sun protection factor, or SPF, number on a bottle of sunscreen only measures UVB protection, he said. Labels will now show the phrase "broad-spectrum," which means protection against b...More >>
    Improper usage of sunscreen by your viewers may cause the very burn they are trying to prevent. Five bad sunburns can double your lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Sunscreen only when applied or used properly will help. The UVA ray are primarily responsible for skin again also. The sun protection factor, or SPF, number on a bottle of sunscreen only measures UVB protection, he said. Labels will now show the phrase "broad-spectrum," which means protection against b...More >>
  • Run the bases 5K/10K benefit

    Run the bases 5K/10K benefit

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:32:03 GMT
    The first-ever Run the Bases 5K/10K will be hosted by the Cedar Valley SportsPlex on Saturday, August 16. All proceeds will benefit Build Our Ballpark. This event will include all levels of athletes, there will be a mile-long Fun Run at 8 a.m. for kids and families near Young Arena. Then the 5K and 10K races will take off simultaneously at 8:30 a.m. near the SportsPlex.More >>
    The first-ever Run the Bases 5K/10K will be hosted by the Cedar Valley SportsPlex on Saturday, August 16. All proceeds will benefit Build Our Ballpark. This event will include all levels of athletes, there will be a mile-long Fun Run at 8 a.m. for kids and families near Young Arena. Then the 5K and 10K races will take off simultaneously at 8:30 a.m. near the SportsPlex.More >>
  • Computer technician warns against public Wi-Fi

    Computer technician warns against public Wi-Fi

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:00:34 GMT
    When you connect to free or public wireless internet, you may be putting your personal information at risk.More >>
    When you connect to free or public wireless internet, you may be putting your personal information at risk.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.