Some question identity of kidnapping suspect - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Some question identity of kidnapping suspect

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WEST BRANCH (KWWL) -

Police have filed federal kidnapping charges against a woman calling herself Kristen R. Smith, but a family in Colorado says that might not be her real identity.

Missing from Beloit, Wisc., infant Kayden Powell turned up Friday at a BP gas station in West Branch, Iowa in a rubber storage tote.

"By the dumpster, [police] found the baby in the tote and that was very exciting news," Jay Patel, manager of the gas station, said. "Not in a happy way, but you know, at least it's good the baby was alive."

According to the criminal complaint, Smith took the child from his mother's care before 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Smith surrendered to police that afternoon in West Branch, but Kayden was still missing.

But how did the infant end up outside a gas station Friday morning? His alleged abductor was in custody when he was found.

The criminal complaint lists Smith as a resident of Denver, Colo. A search led us to a family in the nearby suburb of Arvada. They say their daughter, Kristen, has been the victim of identity theft for three years. They believe the woman charged with kidnapping may be using their daughter's identity.

The Milwaukee office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations is handling this case. I called to confirm Smith's purported date of birth and her address in Colorado. A rep told me they can't discuss that, citing the ongoing investigation.

Family of Kayden's parents in Beloit say they've never met Smith, who claims to be the mother's half-sister.

"We had no clue this girl even existed," said Virginia Powell, Kayden's aunt. "No clue at all until we were informed yesterday via the news basically."

The criminal complaint shows Smith didn't appear to be pregnant, but texted and posted on Facebook that she was. In her car, police say they found a prosthetic pregnancy belly.

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