Kristen Smith, 31, of Denver, was charged in a Wisconsin federal
court after the infant, Kayden Powell, was found wrapped in blankets
in a tote bag 200 miles away from his home, authorities said.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities believe Smith faked
being pregnant after they found a prosthetic pregnancy belly in her
car and Facebook postings in which she claimed to be with child.
The parents, Brianna Marshall, 18, and Bruce Powell, 23, reported
the baby boy missing from his bassinet early Thursday morning,
sparking a massive search that rallied federal, state and local
According to the complaint, Marshall told authorities that Smith was
at her home until sometime early Thursday morning, when she planned
to head back to Denver, where she lives.
Authorities found Smith at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, where
they searched her car and found baby clothing, a car seat and a
stroller, but no baby, the complaint said.
The complaint said authorities also found a prosthetic pregnancy
belly in her vehicle.
After Smith was arrested because of an outstanding warrant in Texas,
authorities examined her cell phone, where they found emails and
Facebook postings in which she said she gave birth on Wednesday.
"Smith did not appear pregnant, had not appeared pregnant while in
Wisconsin and was pregnancy tested and was not pregnant," the
[to top of second column]
At 10 a.m. on Friday morning, West Branch police found the baby in a
tote bag outside another gas station, about 500 yards from where
they apprehended Smith, the complaint said.
"Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive and appears to
be doing very well," Kopp told a news conference. "In the words of
EMS officials, he is in excellent health."
West Branch is in eastern Iowa about 185 miles from Beloit in
southern Wisconsin, near the Illinois border.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Brendan O'Brien in
Milwaukee; writing by David Bailey; editing by Gunna Dickson and
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.