Police in Beloit, Wisconsin went on high alert after a new mother reported that her 5-day-old baby, Kayden Powell, had been snatched from his bassinet while she and the baby's father slept nearby. Police cast a wide net and thankfully found the infant a day later, abandoned in a tote bag near a gas station in Iowa. Despite the freezing temperatures, the baby was fine. The baby's aunt, Kristen Smith, has now been charged with kidnapping. And the sickening details of this case will take your breath away.
Smith had originally been questioned by police as it was revealed she had been at the home earlier in the day, but had left a couple hours earlier to return to where she lived in Colorado. According to People, Smith had called the home of her half-sister, Brianna Marshall, and the baby's father, Bruce Powell, while police were still interviewing everyone. After talking to a police officer, she agreed to pull over at a gas station on Interstate 80 in West Branch, Iowa and speak with cops.
When cops arrived, they found that Smith had baby clothes in her vehicle, along with a car seat and stroller, and a prosthetic pregnancy belly. There was no sign of Kayden and she denied knowing anything about the toddler but explained that the baby's parents were planning to move in with her, hence the baby gear. How she explained the prosthetic pregnancy belly will be left for the trial, I imagine!
She was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Police then found messages on her cellphone in which she said she had given birth on February 5, which was the day before Kayden went missing.
They also reportedly found Facebook posts claiming that she was pregnant.
Smith was given a pregnancy test and determined not to be pregnant. She also reportedly failed a lie detector test about her knowledge of Kayden's whereabouts.
After Kayden was found, Smith reportedly let police know where the baby was, giving them a handdrawn map.
Marshall and Smith apparently have the same father but different mothers, though Marshall introduced her to another family member as "my sister."
Obviously they would have been somewhat close, given that Smith had access to the baby shortly after he was brought home. Did Marshall also think Smith was pregnant all the while she was allegedly plotting to steal her sister's baby?
This is a ghastly story. You hear about women stealing other women's baby's -- but it's usually not a trusted relative who does it right under your nose. Was Smith going to try and raise the baby as her own, right in front of her sister, who would have been mourning the loss of her own baby? Shockingly horrific.
Smith faces life in prison.
What do you make of all of this?
Image via Town of Beloit Police