Federal prosecutors have filed kidnapping charges against a Colorado woman accused of abducting her half-sister’s newborn baby from a home in Beloit. The charges against 31-year-old Kristen Smith were filed Friday afternoon, just hours after police found Kayden Powell alive and well in a storage tote outside of a gas station in Iowa.
The less than a week old baby was reported missing by his mother on Thursday morning, sparking an exhaustive search. Smith was picked up by police Thursday morning at a gas station in Iowa, just hours after the infant was reported missing.
According to the criminal complaint, a search of her car turned up baby clothing and a stroller, but no sign of the child. Police also found a prosthetic pregnancy belly and emails on Smith’s phone in which she stated she gave birth on February 5th. Smith was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from Texas.
Kayden Powell was discovered by police just after 10 a.m. this morning, in a blanket-wrapped storage tote behind a BP station in West Branch, Iowa, just a short distance away from where police picked up Smith the day before. Prosecutors say Smith admitted a short time later that she took the infant from her sister’s home, then put him behind the gas station.
If she’s convicted on the federal kidnapping charge, Smith faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.