A Colorado woman has been charged with kidnapping, after faking a pregnancy and taking a baby from a relative.Kristen Smith, 31, has been formally charged with kidnapping, over the disappearance of Kayden Powell, her 6-day-old baby nephew. When authorities searched the suspect’s car they found a prosthetic pregnancy belly, and further investigations revealed a number of Facebook postings and emails where the woman had claimed to have given birth.
The police investigating the case said that Smith had not appeared pregnant while in Wisconsin, where she was arrested, and had been tested and was not pregnant. Smith has been charged in a Wisconsin federal court with the kidnapping.
The parents of the boy, Brianna Marshall, 18, and Bruce Powell, 23, had discovered him missing from his crib early thursday morning, and reported it to the police. The response to the call was overwhelming with multiple agencies taking part in the search for the infant in three states. The suspect stayed with Marshall and Powell overnight Wednesday, with the plan to drive back to Colorado the next morning. It is reported that Smith, the half-sister of Brianna Marshall, had argued with Kayden’s parents that evening. After she had left, very early the next morning, the baby was found missing. Smith was called by police on her cell phone, and she told police that although she had some of the child’s clothes in the car, she did not have Kayden. She was told to stop, and the police met her at a gas station. It was there that the evidence for the kidnapping and faked pregnancy was found.
In the end Smith was arrested on the basis of an outstanding warrant from Texas, at a Kum and Go gas station in West Branch, Iowa. Baby Kayden was found 500 yards away in another gas station in a tote bag. Luckily for 6-day-old Kayden, despite the freezing weather, he was found in excellent health. After the arrest on Friday morning, police found baby clothes, a car seat and a stroller in Smith’s car. She now faces a potential life sentence for the kidnapping.
The child was found by West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan, who decided to search the area around where Smith had been stopped and initially questioned. The chief heard the babies cries and was able to rescue him from Smith and the cold weather. Local workers were horrified to find out what had happened.
The affidavit filed also stated that Smith had failed a lie detector test, and claimed that the baby’s parents had given the child to relatives in Chicago. Smith had apparently admitted taking the baby during later questioning by police, providing them with a hand drawn map of the baby’s location, although at that point the child had already been found.
Baby Kayden is now home, with family members being escorted by police as they dash to get replacement supplies that have now become state’s evidence. The case has left family members and local residents in shock, they find it difficult to believe that the faked pregnancy and kidnapping plan could have ever worked.
By Andrew Willig