UPDATE: Kristen Smith sentenced for kidnapping newborn

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UPDATED Monday, October 27, 2014 --- 5:22 P.M.

The woman who kidnapped her nephew and left him in a storage container outside an Iowa gas station will be behind bars for the next 25 years.

Background:

4-day-old Kayden Powell went missing from his Town of Beloit home in February. He was found nearly 30 hours later in a plastic storage bin in West Branch, Iowa.

Then in July, Kristen Smith, Kayden's aunt, was convicted of kidnapping him.

The prosecution claims Smith faked her own pregnancy and stole the boy to pass off as her own. Showing evidence of a fake pregnancy belly and a birth certificate application already filled out found in Smith's home and car.

Today:

It was an emotional day in federal court for both sisters Monday. Kristen Smith crying as she asked the judge for leniency, and an end to an 9 month long nightmare for Kayden's mom, Brianna Marshall.

Smith requested a new trial that was denied by Judge Peterson. The minimum sentence Smith was facing was 25 years, and that's all the government asked for, along with 10 years supervision after her sentence. So that's the punishment she received.

The judge said he would request for her to be in a Texas prison, close to her family. He also said that any state sentences will be served concurrently with her federal sentence, and requested her to get mental help.

Before the sentence was laid out, Smith addressed the room. She said that she was sexually abused as a child and has lived a hard life, but doesn't want to be known as Kristen Smith "the monster" but rather Kristen Smith, the sister, daughter, mother and wife. She said she knew how she handled the situation was inappropriate, but blamed it on the fact that she was not on her medicine at the time. It was brought up that Smith was hospitalized in 2012 for 9 days for mental health issues and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She said if she could go back to that day, she would change everything adding that "We all hope yesterdays decisions don't extinguish the dreams of tomorrow." Smith also addressed Brianna Marshall saying she hopes her sister and nephew will find it in their hearts to forgive her.

Marshall then asked to address the room telling her sister, "she can take that apology and shove it up her a$$."

"She gave a fake apology, like that's going to do anything when really it's not. Her apology was super fake, her whole statement was about herself," Marshall said after court.

After hearing from both sides, the judge spoke directly to Smith telling her she has lived a life of lies. Adding, "Ms. Smith you took a 4 day old infant and left him in the freezing cold, and would have let him die."

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil says he's happy with the outcome of the case, and is happy the judge saw through her lies.

"So when she says she's sorry as much as human beings we'd like to say well we really believe it, we do not believe that for one minute."

Smith will be back in court on January 7th to determine restitution, but the judge added that she does not have the means to pay the family any money.

Marshall said she is battling with mental issues now along with the constant fear that her son will be taken again. She said she hasn't thought about what she will tell Kayden when he's older but knows he will eventually find out.

She says other than that, Kayden is a healthy and happy baby.

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UPDATED Monday, October 27, 2014 --- 4:33 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced a Colorado woman who kidnapped her newborn nephew from a Wisconsin home and left him outside in freezing temperatures in Iowa to 25 years in prison.

Kristen Smith faced anywhere from 25 years to life. U.S. District Judge James Peterson gave her the minimum 25 years on Monday, saying she's a chronic liar but her mental health issues mitigated her sentence.

According to court documents and prosecutors, she took her half-sister's 4-day-old son, Kayden Powell, from a home in the Town of Beloit early on Feb. 5. She abandoned the baby in a plastic tote outside an Iowa gas station as police closed in on her.

A police chief eventually found the boy alive and well after 29 hours in the cold.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Monday, October 27, 2014 --- 7:22 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge is poised to sentence a Colorado woman who took her newborn nephew from a Wisconsin home and left him outside in freezing temperatures in Iowa.

A jury found Kristen Smith guilty of kidnapping in July. According to court documents and prosecutors, she took her half-sister's 4-day-old son, Kayden Powell, from a home in the Town of Beloit early on Feb. 5. She abandoned the baby in a plastic tote outside an Iowa gas station as police closed in on her. A police chief eventually found the boy alive and well after 29 hours in the cold.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson is set to sentence Smith on Monday in Madison. She faces 25 years to life in prison.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Thursday July 31, 2014 -- 5:10 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. --- Kristen Smith, convicted of kidnapping her infant nephew, will be sentenced in federal court on October 27th.

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UPDATED Thursday July 31, 2014 -- 3:09 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has convicted a woman of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him outside an Iowa gas station in freezing temperatures.

Kristen Smith was convicted Thursday of kidnapping, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

The 31-year-old woman testified she took the boy in February at the father's request. She said the parents were planning to come live with her in Colorado.

The Aurora, Colorado, woman says she ditched the 4-day-old baby outside of a gas station in a moment of panic as police closed in on her. The baby survived, despite spending 29 hours in frigid temperatures.

Prosecutors dismissed Smith's explanation as ludicrous. They said Smith stole the baby to try to pass him off as her own.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Thursday July 31, 2014 -- 1:07 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. --- The jury in the Kristen Smith kidnapping trial is now deliberating. One man question: did Smith have permission to take her infant nephew or was it a kidnapping?

Smith is accused of kidnapping her days old nephew, Kayden Powell, from her half sister's home in the Town of Beloit while the family slept back in February.

Today the prosecution started with closing statements saying the Smith is a chronic liar, pointing to evidence and testimony of previous convictions, multiple identities and inconsistencies in testimony.

The prosecution asked the jurors why would parents of a newborn, who they clearly loved, ask Smith to take the baby?

Evidence was referenced of the prosthetic belly found in Smiths car, and sonograms Smith posted on Facebook as her own, that were matched to identical sonograms posted on websites devoted to babies.

The prosecution says Smith planned a fake pregnancy for months so she could take Kayden and pass him off as her own. They even called the birth certificate application found at Smith's Colorado home the most incriminating piece of evidence. The paper was filled out with Smith as the mother of a boy, Kaysin Smith, weighing exactly what Kayden Powell weighed when he left the hospital. The application stated that it was a home birth.

The prosecution wrapped up stating Smith didn't take the baby as a doting aunt, she did it for her own selfish reasons.

However the defense turned the tables in closing. Smith's attorney stated that Bruce Powell asked Smith to take the baby to Colorado, since the couple would be joining her there in just a few days.

He countered the prosecution's statement that Bruce Powell was infatuated with his son and would never give Smith permission, by recalling Bruce's testimony that he did indeed ask for a paternity test at the hospital.

The defense went on to ask why would Smith calculate this difficult plan when she could easily get pregnant on her own? He detailed how Smith was actually pregnant and lost the child in mid-January.

Smith's attorney added that Bruce and Brianna were moving in with Kristen, so there was clearly no benefit for Smith to take the baby.

After both side wrapped up, the judge instructed the jury that they may not consider Smith's mental or emotional state as an excuse for her actions.

The jury was told in order to find Smith guilty, they have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Smith 1) took the child 2) that she took the child for her own benefit 3) that she crossed state lines wjth the child and 4) that the child is younger than 18.

Smith faces 25 years to life behind bars if found guilty.

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UPDATED Thursday July 31, 2014 --- 9:55 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. --- The decision on if Kristen Smith is guilty of kidnapping her newborn nephew is expected to be in the hands of the jury today.

Prosecution and defense are giving closing arguments this morning at the federal courthouse in downtown Madison

Smith faces 25 years to life behind bars if found guilty.

But what would happen if Smith is found not guilty?

This morning we spoke with Jeffrey Renander, the Cedar County Iowa attorney. He says the state filed child endangerment charges against Smith back in February for leaving the child outside the gas station in West Branch, IA, something Smith has admitted to under oath during this trial.

However, Renander says since the federal charges were more pressing, Iowa dropped its charges against Smith in order to expedite the federal trial. Renander says if Smith is found not guilty, he will immediately refile the child endangerment charges, something the state has three years to do.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 --- 7:00 p.m.

It was an emotional day in the court house as Kristen Smith, the woman accused of kidnapping her days old nephew, Kayden Powell, took the stand in day three of the trial.

At one point, Smith had to the leave the courtroom after she broke down in tears.

Federal prosecutors say her testimony has been inconsistent with when she testified a couple of months ago. Prosecutors played audio recordings where Smith told Brianna Marshall she didn't have Kayden.

Prosecutors also brought up Smith telling police she had left Kayden outside a gas station in West Branch, Iowa covered in blankets in a plastic bin. Smith says she couldn't remember and the prosecution reminded her when she had previously testified she was under oath.

The prosecution also brought up the fact that Smith had two different social security numbers, middle names and birthdays, what they say was her essentially creating another identity for herself.

They also brought up her past convictions in Illinois and Wisconsin.
For a full recap of today's court proceedings Click Here for NBC 15 reporter Kate Pabich's Twitter page.

Court will start back up again tomorrow at 9.

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UPDATED: Wednesday July 30, 2014 --- 11:04 a.m.

The woman accused of stealing her newborn nephew from Beloit and leaving at an Iowa gas station has taken the stand in her trial.

NBC 15 Reporter Kate Pabich is live tweeting during day three of the Kristen Smith kidnapping trial. Smith is being tried in federal court where no cameras are allowed. You can follow Kate on twitter @katepabichNBC15.

Here are her latest tweets:

Kate Pabich @KatePabichNBC15 · 34m
Kristen Smith is taking stand

Kate Pabich @KatePabichNBC15 · 32m
Smith says she messaged her sister in June 2013 to congratulate her and let her know she could always call her if she needed #nbc15

Kate Pabich @KatePabichNBC15 · 16m
Smith gets emotional talking about her Aug 2013 pregnancy saying her twins did not make it. #nbc15

UPDATED Tuesday July, 29, 2014 --- 6:34 p.m.

Day two of the federal trial of Kristen Smith has wrapped up. She's accused of kidnapping her 5 day old nephew from the Town of Beloit back in February.

Today Bruce Powell, Kayden's father, took the stand. Interestingly enough, the defense didn't question Powell about giving permission to Smith to take the baby, something the defense said in opening arguments was the reason Smith had the child.

It was also revealed that Bruce Powell and Kristen Smith both gave fake names throughout the course of the investigation. Both because they had outstanding warrants in other states.

The 911 call that Brianna Marshall made to police the minute she found out her son was missing, was played for the jurors as well. It detailed just how much she trusted her sister. When her grandmother asked her what her sisters phone number was she said "Grandma, she didn't take my baby."

When Beloit PD came to the home they called Smith and instructed her contact local law enforcement just to make sure she didn't have the baby. She flagged down an officer at a West Branch, IA gas station. Video from that squad car was play for the court today.

Testimony from the officers in West Branch, IA was also very detailed. They explained how they found the child in a plastic bin outside the BP gas station. The bin and blankets Kayden was found in were also entered into evidence. A map was shown detailing the proximity of the gas station Kayden was found at to the gas station where Kristen Smith flagged down an officer. The two only about a quarter mile apart.

A video interview with Smith in Iowa shows her visibly upset and crying while talking about Kayden and how she believed it was Brianna Marshall's brother, Byron, who had taken the child.

Also, calls Smith made to her husband back in Colorado from the Cedar County, IA Jail were entered into evidence and played for the jury with Smith saying "When you talk to them, don't say a word. Nothing."

Bruce Powell was able to meet Chief Horihan with West Branch, IA PD today. He was finally able to shake his hand and tell him thank you for saving his son's life.

Kayden's grandma says that he's doing well, will be 6 months old on Friday and is getting pretty chunky! She says that Brianna Marshall and Bruce Powell are still together.

Court will start back up again tomorrow at 9.

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UPDATED Tuesday July 29, 2014 --- 8:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. --- The federal kidnapping trial of Kristen Smith enters day two.

Smith is accused of kidnapping her nephew, Kayden Powell, in February. Kayden was just days old when he was taken from his Beloit home.

So far the mother of Kayden has testified.

NBC 15 reporter Kate Pabich will again be in federal court. No video or audio recordings are allowed. Kate will live tweet what happens today. You can follow her on @katepabichNBC15.

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UPDATED Monday, July 28, 2014 --- 5:54 p.m.

The federal trial for Kristen Smith began today, you recall she's accused of kidnapping Kayden Powell, her newborn nephew back in February from the Town of Beloit.

The day wrapped up around 5:30 p.m. with Brianna Marshal, Kayden Powell's mother, on the stand. She testified that Smith showed up at the hospital after Kayden was born. Marshall says that Smith offered her, Bruce and Kayden to come live with her in Colorado. Marshall said that they agreed to go, and her family in Wisconsin was not happy about it.

The plan, according to Marshall, was for Smith to bring a load of baby clothes and things to Colorado and then come back that weekend for the family.

Marshall says they spent the day packing and her stomach hurt because of her recent c section. She says Bruce's head hurt as well and Smith offered them both pills to make them feel better. It was that night that the infant went missing.

Facebook messages show that Smith lead Brianna to think it was her brother who took Kayden to make them stay in WI. Brianna says she believed it because it made sense. Her testimony will continue tomorrow morning.

Testimony earlier in the day revealed FBI agents found a birth certificate application already filled out at Smiths Colorado home.
They say the name on the application was Kaysin Smith- a box checked indicated that it was an at home birth.

Evidence from Smith's computer also showed that she frequently visited sites on how to create a fake pregnancy belly and how to breastfeed an adopted or surrogate child.

They say she was doing these searches since August, just after Marshall told her half-sister that she was pregnant.

The defense said in opening arguments that Smith did not kidnap the baby, but was asked to take the baby to Colorado ahead of time by Bruce, Kayden's dad.

Arguments will continue through this week, we will continue to bring you updates.
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UPDATED Monday, July 28, 2014 --- 10:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Jury selection has begun in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures.

Kristen Smith faces one count of kidnapping in federal court. She could face life in prison if convicted. Jury selection began Monday in Madison.

Prosecutors argue Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. Police arrested her at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, later that day but the infant wasn't with her.

The West Branch Police chief discovered Kayden the next morning hidden in a crate behind another gas station about 500 yards from the station where Smith was arrested.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Monday, July 28, 2014 --- 5:38 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures is about to go to trial.

Kristen Smith faces one count of kidnapping in federal court. Her trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Madison. She could face life if convicted.

Prosecutors believe Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. Police arrested her at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, later that day but the infant wasn't with her.

The West Branch Police chief discovered Kayden the next morning hidden in a crate behind another gas station about 500 yards from the station where Smith was arrested.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, June 25, 2014 --- 3:45 p.m.

She's accused of kidnapping a baby and if convicted she'll spend a minimum of 25 years behind bars.

Today a Western District of Wisconsin federal grand jury indicted Kristen Smith again, saying this time since the child was younger than 18, a conviction triggers a mandatory 25-year sentence.

Smith is accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew back in February from his home in the Town of Beloit.

The baby was found outside a gas station in Iowa where Smith was arrested.

She faces state charges as well.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 15, 2014 --- 1:05 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Attorneys agree that part of an interview between police and the woman charged with kidnapping a 5-day-old infant won't be used in court.

Kristen Smith is accused of taking the newborn from a relative in the Town of Beloit in February and leaving it overnight outside an Iowa gas station. The baby was found alive and well.

Defense attorney Matt Noel said during a preliminary hearing Thursday that Smith wasn't read her rights before FBI agents interviewed her. Prosecutors agree that about two hours of the daylong interview shouldn't be used in court.

But Noel wants everything Smith told police to be kept out of court. Smith testified in U.S. District Court that she asked for a lawyer during the early stages of the FBI interview.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 27, 2014 --- 9:14 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A woman accused of abducting her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him outside a gas station in Iowa has pleaded not guilty to a federal kidnapping charge.

Prosecutors say Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colo., kidnapped four-day-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where the boy's parents were staying earlier this month.

Police arrested her at an Iowa gas station hours later and discovered the baby in a crate outside another nearby gas station the next morning. The child was alive and well despite being left in frigid temperatures for more than 24 hours.

A federal grand jury indicted her on a kidnapping count last week. She pleaded not guilty to the charge on Wednesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker scheduled her trial to begin on June 23.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 21, 2014 --- 5:19 p.m.

Kristen Smith, the woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew, appeared in federal court in Madison today.

Back on February 6th, Kayden's mother, Brianna Marshall, called police to report here son was missing.

Smith was arrested in Iowa on an unrelated warrant from Texas.

It wasn't until the next day, authorities in West Branch, Iowa found Kayden outside a gas station alive and well in a plastic container.

It was at this time Kristen admitted to police she did kidnap Kayden and was charged by a U.S. District Attorney in Madison with kidnapping.

This afternoon Smith appeared in federal court for the first time to face those kidnapping charges.

Not much happened today in court, Smith didn't make a plea and says her family is going to be paying for her own attorney out of Iowa, but that hasn't been sorted out yet.

Right now she's being represented by a federal defender who was assigned to her. The judge told her she can go back to her current federal defender, if a private attorney gets too expensive.

Once Smith has her own attorney, she'll be back in court to make a plea.

The judge ordered her out of Iowa's custody and into Wisconsin's. She'll stay in Wisconsin until her hearing.

Kayden's parents, Brianna Marshall and Bruce Powell, didn't want to talk today or give us an update on how the, now -three-week-old is doing.

There was no interaction between Smith and Marshall today. What we assume is the first time the two half sisters are seeing each other since the kidnapping.
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UPDATED Friday, February 21, 2014 --- 3:37 p.m.

Accused kidnapper appears in federal court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures has made her first court appearance in Wisconsin.

A federal grand jury indicted 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colo., on a kidnapping charge earlier this week. She's due to make her initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Friday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker ordered her detained while her family tries to hire an attorney.

Prosecutors allege Smith took the baby from a Town of Beloit home where her half-sister, who is the child's mother, was staying on Feb. 6.

Police caught up with Smith in West Branch, Iowa, but she didn't have the baby. Police later discovered the child alive in a crate behind a West Branch gas station.

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UPDATED Friday, February 21, 2014 --- 10:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures is set to appear in federal court in Wisconsin.

A grand jury indicted 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colo., on a kidnapping charge earlier this week. She's due to make her initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Friday.

Prosecutors allege Smith took the baby from a Town of Beloit home where her half-sister, who is the child's mother, was staying.

Police caught up with Smith in West Branch, Iowa, but she didn't have the baby. Police later discovered the child in a crate behind a West Branch gas station. The boy was alive and well despite spending hours alone in temperatures that dipped well below zero.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 20, 2014 --- 11:23 a.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The U.S. Army Reserve says a woman charged with kidnapping her half sister's newborn this month was involuntarily removed from duty.

Military officials tell The Associated Press that Kristen Smith served in a Wisconsin-based Army Reserve unit from December 2011 until her discharge a year later.

A U.S. Army Reserve spokesman says that a discharge so early into an 8-year commitment usually signals major problems with one's service record or personal life. The reason for Smith's discharge cannot be divulged under Army policy.

Smith was indicted Wednesday in the Feb. 6 kidnapping of her newborn nephew, Kayden Powell. Investigators say Smith took him from a Wisconsin home where she was visiting her sister and left him in freezing temperatures in Iowa. Kayden was found alive the next day.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 19, 2014 --- 4:48 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal grand jury has indicted a woman accused of kidnapping her half sister's newborn in Wisconsin and leaving him behind an Iowa gas station.

Jurors in Madison, Wis., returned the indictment Wednesday charging Kristen Smith with kidnapping, which carries a maximum prison sentence of life.

The indictment was expected after the FBI filed a criminal complaint accusing Smith in the Feb. 6 kidnapping of newborn Kayden Powell.

Smith's been jailed in Iowa since her arrest, hours after the baby went missing. Federal authorities will transfer Smith to Wisconsin before a Friday court appearance.

Investigators say Smith took the baby from a Town of Beloit, Wis., home where her half sister was staying, and left him in West Branch, Iowa, in freezing temperatures. He was found alive 29 hours later.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 19, 2014 --- 3:48 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The woman charged with kidnapping a Wisconsin newborn and leaving him behind an Iowa gas station is scheduled to make her initial federal court appearance Friday.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison, Wis., says authorities will transfer Kristen Smith to Wisconsin from Iowa sometime before then.

A grand jury is meeting in Madison on Wednesday, but it's unclear whether Smith's case is being heard.

The FBI has filed a complaint accusing Smith in the Feb. 6 kidnapping of newborn Kayden Powell. Smith's been jailed in Iowa since her arrest, hours after the baby went missing.

Investigators say Smith took Kayden from a Wisconsin home where her half sister was staying, and left him in West Branch, Iowa, in freezing temperatures. He was found alive 29 hours later.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 14, 2014 --- 12:00 p.m.

TIPTON, Iowa (AP) -- The defense attorney for a woman charged with kidnapping her half sister's newborn from Wisconsin, says her client hopes her half-sister is doing OK.

Attorney Victoria Noel said Friday that her client, Kristen Smith, wants to express concern for her half sister because she understands "she has gone through an ordeal."

Federal prosecutors have charged Smith with kidnapping Kayden Powell on Feb. 6 and leaving him at an Iowa gas station. She has been jailed in Iowa since her arrest last week.

Noel made the comments on Smith's behalf to reporters after a court hearing in which Smith declined to challenge her extradition on a warrant from Texas.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 14, 2014 --- 6:00 a.m.

TIPTON, Iowa (AP) -- The woman charged with kidnapping a Wisconsin newborn and leaving him behind an Iowa gas station is due in court Friday.

An extradition hearing's scheduled for Kristen Smith on a Texas warrant charging her with tampering with government records.

Federal prosecutors have charged Smith with kidnapping Kayden Powell but have yet to take her into federal custody. She's been jailed on the Texas warrant and an Iowa child endangerment charge.

Investigators say Smith took her half sister's baby from a southern Wisconsin home Feb. 6. After the baby's mother reported him missing, police contacted Smith as she was driving through Iowa and ordered her to stop for questioning.

She denied knowledge of Kayden's whereabouts, but was arrested on the Texas warrant. Police found the child alive about 29 hours later.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 13, 2014 --- 10:46 a.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa prosecutor has filed a child endangerment charge against a woman suspected of kidnapping a newborn baby and leaving him behind a gas station.

Cedar County Attorney Jeffrey Renander filed the charge Thursday against Kristen R. Smith, saying she endangered newborn Kayden Powell "in numerous ways."

Renander says Smith made an initial court appearance and remains at the county jail.

Smith was arrested last week in West Branch, Iowa, on an outstanding warrant. The next day, the police chief found the baby in a storage crate outside a gas station in freezing weather.

Police say Smith kidnapped her half-sister's newborn from a southern Wisconsin home.

Federal prosecutors in Wisconsin have charged Smith with kidnapping, but she hasn't yet been taken into federal custody.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 11, 2014 --- 6:27 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Court records and warrants show a woman charged with taking her days-old nephew from a Wisconsin home and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station has a lengthy criminal history that spans multiple states and two aliases.

But nothing in 31-year-old Kristen R. Smith's past indicates why she might have taken a child.

Police have refused to speculate on a possible motive, though court documents say she said in emails that she had given birth on Feb. 5.

Documents show Smith, of Denver, faces multiple fraud and document tampering charges in three states.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office in Tarrant County, Texas, says it used fingerprints and photographs to confirm that she was the same woman arrested under a different name in Colorado last year.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED February 10, 2014-- 6:20 p.m.

After that terrifying night Thursday, Brianna Marshall and Bruce Powell spent their weekend reunited with their newborn son, Kayden.

This happy ending follows desperate hours of searching by several agencies across the midwest.

As early as the 911 call, the signs pointed to one suspect, Brianna's half sister, Kristen Smith.

"At one point we had 35 officers canvassing neighborhoods and 75 officers working out of command post," said Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden.

In the moment, Brianna couldn't believe it.

But Smith admitted to taking Kayden and leaving him outside a gas station along I-80 in Iowa overnight, but only after West Branch Iowa police chief found him wrapped in a frosty plastic storage container.

"She knew that child was in a bad way for over a long period of time in frigid temps and she didn't say anything," said Sheriff Spoden.

It was a scheme Sheriff Spoden says involved a large amount of plotting.

"She had determined that she would have a baby," said Sheriff Spoden.

The reasoning behind it is still unknown, but in the meantime she remains in an Iowa jail where the sheriff there says she's being kept in her own cell for safety reasons.

"She's obviously a very dangerous person and lacks compassion towards human beings," said Spoden.

Baby Kayden's survival is now being called a miracle.

"For that guy to survive in over 30 hours in frigid conditions... Only through the grace of God that he child is healthy," said Spoden.

Sheriff Spoden calls finding Kayden alive and well the highlight of his career.

"Why he survived we may never know, but we're just thankful he did."

The FBI continues their investigation.

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UPDATED Monday, February 10, 2014 --- 6:04 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The 911 recording from a missing infant's mother shows the clearly distraught woman didn't think her half-sister took the days-old infant.

Brianna Marshall tells dispatchers during the nine-minute call that her sister was in the home the night before. Marshall says she woke up and her baby was gone. But she tells dispatchers her sister wouldn't take her son.

Police later found the boy alive in a storage crate in Iowa in single-digit temperatures.

Authorities have charged Kristen R. Smith, of Denver, with kidnapping the boy.

Marshall's grandmother was in the home during the call. She tells dispatchers that Smith was gone when the boy was discovered missing from his bassinet in the Town of Beloit home.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, February 10, 2014 --- 4:38 p.m.

Rock Co. authorities have released the 911 call in the Kayden Powell kidnapping case.

The infant was reported missing from a Town of Beloit home Thursday. He was found alive in Iowa Friday morning. His aunt Kristen Smith is charged with kidnapping.

In the call, Kayden's mother reports the baby is missing. She also says a knife was discovered next to her bed.

During the call, the mother also says that she does not believe her sister took the child. The mother says she called her, and the sister said she didn't have the baby and told them to call police.

To listen to the call, click the file in the video player above.

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UPDATED Monday, February 10, 2014 --- 3:25 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa sheriff says he's jailing a woman suspected of kidnapping a baby apart from the general population for safety reasons.

Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington said Monday that 31-year-old Kristen R. Smith of Denver is in her own cell at the county jail in Tipton, Iowa.

He says he didn't feel comfortable holding Smith with other female inmates who had seen media coverage of the allegations against her.

Smith was charged with kidnapping Friday after the police chief in West Branch, Iowa discovered missing Wisconsin newborn Kayden Powell, alive and well despite being in freezing temperatures for up to 29 hours.

The FBI alleges Smith took the boy from her half-sister's home and left him in a plastic crate outside a gas station before she was arrested Thursday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Saturday, February 8, 2014 --- 6:13 p.m.

Now safe in his parents arms, baby Kayden is in Chicago with his mom and dad. Today NBC caught up with the grateful family, as they shared their traumatic experience.

"To be honest with you it felt like hell," says Kayden's father, Bruce Powell.

"Sickening, I could barely walk or breathe it just felt like the life was ripped out of me," says Kayden's mother, Brianna Marshall.

Just 5 days into parenthood, Bruce Powell and Brianna Marshall experienced everyone's worst nightmare.

"I woke up and I saw clothes hanging over the side of the bassinet and I didn't want them to fall on him, so I jumped up and touched the blanket to make sure he was OK and he was gone."

Vanished from the same room they were sleeping in, the new parents say the 30 hours that followed were the worst of their lives.

"I was just worried about him eating and where he was."

That answer finally came for Brianna. Thirty hours after she reported her son missing an FBI agent came into the room and said a baby was found. She showed the couple a picture of the child, and sure enough, it was Kayden. Hundreds of miles away in Iowa.

Seven hours later, mom, dad, and baby were reunited. Baby Kayden now sporting the colors of Iowa State. Powell says surviving the cold all on his own was nothing short of a miracle.

"God had my son out there for 30 hours in the cold."

Feeling grateful and blessed to have their child back in their arms, Brianna says it's still frustrating that she ever lost him in the first place.

"I want to know what's going through your head. You're my sister and you did this to my son, my only son. I just don't understand."

The couple wants to make sure to thank every agency involved in helping to find Kayden. They say they can't believe how many people were willing to spend countless hours in the bitter cold tracking him down. They say they're forever grateful.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 6:10 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A Wisconsin infant who was abducted and left out in the cold in Iowa has been reunited with his parents and is on his way home.

Kayden Powell's mother discovered him missing early Thursday morning from his bassinet in a Town of Beloit home. Police found him tucked in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures more than 24 hours later.

A spokeswoman for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City says Kayden is in good condition and was discharged from the hospital Friday evening.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Brown says the nearly week-old baby is with his parents and heading back to Wisconsin.

Kayden's aunt has been charged in his disappearance.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 4:20 p.m.

Kristen Smith, the aunt of Kayden Powell, has been charged with kidnapping.

The infant was found safe Friday morning at a gas station in Iowa.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith allowed police to search her cell phone, Facebook account and her car on Thursday.

Her phone reportedly contained an e-mail where she said she gave birth to a baby on Wednesday, despite the fact she did not appear pregnant and was not pregnant while in Wisconsin.

The complaint says a prosthetic pregnancy belly was found inside Smith's car. Smith also allegedly posted on her Facebook page that she was pregnant.

The complaint also says that after Kayden was found, Smith admitted she took the infant and to leaving him at the gas station where he was found.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 4:04 p.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Denver woman with kidnapping a newborn from his southern Wisconsin home.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil filed the charge against Kristen Smith on Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief discovered the nearly week-old Kayden Powell alive and well in a plastic storage bin outside a West Branch, Iowa, gas station.

The newborn disappeared from the Town of Beloit house where he was staying with his mother early Thursday morning. Police arrested Smith hours later at a gas station about a half-mile from the station where the newborn was found.

Smith faces life in prison if she's convicted.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 3:58 p.m.

A Denver woman has been charged with kidnapping in the Kayden Powell case.

According to a criminal complaint, 31-year-old Kristen Smith allegedly took Powell from a home in the Town of Beloit Thursday and took the child to Iowa.

The child was found safe at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa.

Smith was arrested in Iowa Thursday on unrelated charges.

If convicted of the federal kidnapping charge, Smith will face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 11:32: a.m.

Breaking news -- Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp announced 6-day-old baby Kayden Powell has been found alive. "Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive and appears to be doing very well." He said EMS crews who found the infant boy say "he is in excellent health."

Kopp was joined by Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden and members of the FBI. He told a room full of reporters that Kayden was found at a gas station off Interstate 80 in Iowa. Police Chief Mike Horihan from the West Branch P.D. found the boy in a tote bag, swaddled in blankets. Local authorities are praising Horihan as a hero. They say he found baby Kayden during a general canvas of the area.

Authorities are not saying how the newborn ended up at the Iowa gas station, but Kopp says it was "in the general area" of the place a relative of the baby was arrested yesterday.

At 5:30 a.m. yesterday -- one hour after Kayden was reported missing -- Kristen Smith was arrested in West Branch. She had been visiting the family in the Town of Beloit home before leaving early in the morning to drive to her Denver, Colorado home. Investigators in Beloit contacted her by phone, at which point she flagged down a local officer in West Branch to speak with the investigator. The officer then checked Smith's car for the missing Kayden, and after running her information through his system, discovered she was wanted for an outstanding felony warrant from Texas. Smith was then arrested, but was not called a suspect in the Kayden Powell disappearance. Today, however, she is being called a person of interest.

The Rock County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney are discussing possible local and federal charges, though authorities have not confirmed who may be charged in this case.

Authorities say they are in the process of reuniting Kayden Powell with his family.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 9:16 a.m.

Town of Beloit authorities plan to hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday on their investigation into a missing baby.

Kayden Powell was reported missing early Thursday morning, and has not been found.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 6:59 p.m.

In a press conference that took place around 6:00 p.m. tonight, authorities say they do not have any suspects in custody in relation to missing infant, Kayden Powell.

Officials with the Town of Beloit police and Rock Co. Sheriff's Office says they will continue to investigate the case through out the night.

Officials plan to hold another press conference on the status of the investigation, tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m., unless a major development comes down on the investigation.

Anyone who has information regarding Kayden’s whereabouts, or any other information pertaining to this case, is strongly urged to contact the Amber Tipline at (608) 758-8477 or the Rock County Communications Center at (608) 757-2244.
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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 2:38 p.m.

Town of Beloit Police say they have no suspects right now as they search for a baby that went missing from a local home.

Police say they have interviewed eight people in this case. All of those interviewed were known to be in the house within 12 hours of the time the 5-day-old baby was reported missing.

One of those people was Kristen Smith, the woman who was arrested around 5:30 this morning in Iowa. She is not a suspect in the case.

Police say all eight people they have interviewed have been cooperative. There were four at the home when the baby was reported missing: the mother, father, a brother of the mother and a great grandmother.

There was no forced entry into the home. Police say this is still an active search.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 2:10 p.m.

Authorities in Iowa say they have searched a woman's car in connection to the Town of Beloit missing baby case, but the infant has not been found.

Police in West Branch, Iowa say the woman flagged an officer down around 5:30 this morning while at a gas station.

The woman was on the phone with another law enforcement agency. West Branch Police would not confirm the name of the other agency with NBC15.

The woman handed the cell phone to the West Branch Officer, who spoke to someone with the other agency. After the two officers spoke, the woman gave the West Branch Officer permission to search her car for a missing baby. He did not find any evidence in the case.

The officer ran the woman's name and arrested her in connection with an unrelated, outstanding warrant in a different state.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 1:48 p.m.

From our news partner, WIFR in Rockford:

TOWN OF BELOIT (WIFR) -- Police are trying to locate a 5 day-old baby boy who went missing from a home in the Town of Beloit early Thursday morning.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell contacted police immediately after she woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning in a home located in the 800 block of Homeland Court when she discovered her son was gone. The home belongs to the great-grandmother of the infant.

According to police an Amber Alert has not been issued because the case does not meet the criteria at this time. Right now, police say no one is in custody and they do not have a possible vehicle description. Law enforcement have brought 4 people in for questioning including both parents, another family member, and a friend.

Along with Beloit police, the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Rock County Sheriff's Department are also involved in the search.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244, or Greater Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 10:56 a.m.

Town of Beloit Police are releasing more information as they search for an infant that was reported missing from a home Thursday morning.

Police took a call at 4:34 a.m. for a report of a 5-day-old child missing from 836 E. Homeland Court. The mother, Brianna Marshall, awoke and found the baby missing.

The baby's name as Kayden Powell. Police say Kayden is African American, 20 inches long, 6 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Officers and agents are in the process of locating and interviewing friends and family members. The home is being processed for physical evidence.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244, or Greater Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 10:16 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Federal and state law enforcement agencies are helping local authorities in a search for a 4-day-old baby in Rock County.

Authorities say the newborn's mother called 911 after waking about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to find the child, Kayden Powell, missing from his bassinette in a room where she was sleeping at a home in the Town of Beloit.

Town Police Chief Steven Kopp says the 18-year-old mother, Brianna Marshall, and the infant's 23-year-old father, Bruce Powell, were staying at the house. Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette investigators are questioning people who were at the house Wednesday night.

Kopp says the incident is not believed to be a custody dispute. The chief says an Amber Alert was not issued because the disappearance doesn't meet the criteria.

The FBI and Wisconsin Department of Justice are assisting with the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 9:26 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are searching for a newborn missing from a Town of Beloit home.

Police say the mother of the baby called 911 about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report the missing 4-day-old child.

Town Police Chief Steven Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette that two people at the baby's home Wednesday night are being questioned, but there have been no arrests. The FBI is getting involved in the case. FBI spokesman Leonard Peace says local law enforcement officials requested the agency's assistance. He would not comment on whether authorities believe the child was taken across state lines.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department and Beloit police are also working with town officers on the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 9:00 a.m.

From our news partner, WIFR in Rockford:

BELOIT (WIFR)-- Police are trying to locate a 4 day-old baby who went missing a home in the town of Beloit early Thursday morning.

Beloit police chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell contacted police immediately after woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning in her home located in the 800 block of Homeland Ct when she discovered her son was gone.

Police do not have any suspects in custody nor a possible vehicle description but did bring in two people who were at the home last night for questioning.

Along with Beloit police, the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Rock County Sheriff's Department are also involved in the search.

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Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 8:56 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are searching for a newborn missing from a Town of Beloit home.

Police say the mother of the baby called 911 about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report the missing 4-day-old child. Town Police Chief Steven Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette that two people at the baby's home Wednesday night are being questioned, but there have been no arrests.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department and Beloit police are working with town officers on the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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