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Missing Beloit, Wis. newborn found safe

Kayden Powell

A 6-day-old boy missing from Beloit, Wis. was found safe Friday morning, wrapped in blankets inside a tote bag near a gas station off Interstate 80 in Iowa, police said.

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Kristen Smith has been charged with federal kidnapping in the case of the missing newborn Kayden Powell, who was abducted from his home and found safe the next day.

Smith“unlawfully and willfully seized, confined, kidnapped, abducted and carried away the victim, [Kayden Powell],” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Wisconsin

It was around 4:30 am Thursday morning that police say Kristen Smith walked into baby Kayden’s bedroom and picked him up as his parents slept.

Kayden and his parents, 18-year old Breanna and 23-year old Bruce Powell were staying with the baby’s great grandmother, Shirley Bennett, at her home before a planned move to Colorado with Smith.

Bennett says she was suspicious of Smith from the moment she showed up a few days ago and that’s what she told investigators

Smith was arrested at a Kum-and-Go at a gas station in West Branch Iowa on an unrelated warrant out of Texas.  After a night in jail the West Branch police chief searched the route Smith would have taken from Wisconsin.

He found Kayden at another gas station nearby.

missing-babyA 6-day-old boy missing from Beloit, Wis. was found safe Friday morning, wrapped in blankets inside a tote bag near a gas station off Interstate 80 in Iowa, police said.

The baby, Kayden Powell, appeared in good health despite being outside in frigid weather in West Branch, Iowa around 10:15 a.m., police said at a news conference. The town is about 180 miles from Beloit.

Officers heard the baby’s cries and found him.

Temperatures at the time were near zero at the time.

The baby is getting checked out at a hospital.

Forty officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, searched for the baby.

This nightmare began when 18-year-old Brianna Marshall woke up at 4:30 a.m. Thursday and discovered that Kayden was missing from a bassinet next to her bed.

Police searched near the Beloit house and talked to everyone inside the home including the boy’s father, 23-year-old Bruce Powell and Brianna’s grandmother and uncle Mark Bennett. All were home when the baby was taken.

“I got home, the last time I seen that baby was at 1:45,” Bennett said. At the time, he was convinced that a woman named Kristen Smith knew something about Kayden’s disappearance.

Bennett says she showed up a few days ago saying she was Brianna’s step sister and they along with Kayden were going to move to Colorado.

Police arrested Smith at an Iowa gas station on an unrelated warrant out of Texas– baby clothes were found in her car but no Kayden.

Kayden’s parents, who have been cooperating with police, back up her story that they were planning on moving, and Smith was always planning to leave Friday morning.

Prosecutors are deciding what charges to pursue against Smith.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

missing-baby

This nightmare began when 18-year-old Brianna Marshall woke up at 4:30 Thursday morning — her 5-day-old baby boy, Kayden Powell was missing from a bassinet next to her bed.

According Chief Steven Kopp with the Beloit Police Department, Kayden is African American, 20 inches and 6 pounds.

Police searched near the Beloit house and talked to everyone inside the home including the boy’s father, 23-year-old Bruce Powell and  Brianna’s grandmother and uncle– Mark Bennett  all were home when the baby was taken.

“I got home, the last time I seen that baby was at 1:45,” Bennett said.  He is convinced this woman Kristen Smith knows something about Kayden’s disappearance.

Bennett says she showed up a few days ago saying she was Brianna’s step sister and they along with Kayden were going to move to Colorado.

Police arrested Smith at an Iowa gas station on an unrelated warrant out of Texas– baby clothes were found in her car but no Kayden.  His parents, who have been cooperating with police, back up her story that they were planning on moving and Smith was always planning to leave this morning.

Sheriff Robert Spoden, Rock County Police said “We are trying with every resource we have to reunite this family.”

Little comfort to Kayden’s family

“Just bring my nephew you back here, my great nephew that’s all I want, I don’t care about that broad that mystery broad, I just want that baby and I want that baby alive.”

Police officers and the FBI searched for the baby throughout the night.   Beloit Police plan to a press conference at 11am Friday to update the case.

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