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UPDATED: Woman Admits To Taking Child
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 09:38 PM CST
WEST BRANCH, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Denver, Colorado woman with kidnapping a newborn from his southern Wisconsin home, and bringing him to Iowa.
According to court documents (read the full complaint here), at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Brianna Marshall reported her newborn son, Kayden Powell, missing from a home in the 800 block of Homeland Court, in Beloit, Wisconsin. Marshall says she woke up just before 4:30 a.m. and discovered the child was missing from the bassinet in the bedroom where they were both sleeping.
Marshall says her sister, Kristen Smith, had been at the house earlier, and planned to leave at about 2:00 a.m. to drive back to her home in colorado. Smith called Marshall's grandmother at about 4:45 a.m. and talked with police, telling them she had the infant's clothing with her, but not the infant. Police told Smith to pull over so law enforcement could talk with her.
At 5:21 a.m. Thursday, Smith called law enforcement, and flagged down a West Branch police officer at the Kum & Go gas station, off I-80 exit 254. The officer got consent to search Smith's car, and found baby clothes, a car seat, and a stroller, but no child. Smith had an arrest warrant from Texas on an unrelated charge and was taken to the Cedar County Jail.
Investigators from the FBI and state of Iowa questioned Smith regarding the missing infant, but she denied any knowledge of the child's whereabouts. Smith consented to a full search of her car, as well as her cell phone and Facebook account.
Smith's cell phone contained email sent by Smith, saying she herself gave birth on February 5th. But Smith did not appear pregnant, had not appeared pregnant while in Wisconsin, and a pregnancy test came back negative. In a search of Smith's car, law enforcement found a prosthetic pregnancy belly.
Smith's Facebook account contained postings by Smith, claiming she was pregnant. Smith then failed a polygraph test regarding the location of the missing infant, then claimed the child's parents had given child to a family member in Chicago.
At 10:06 a.m. Friday, a West Branch police officer found a child behind a BP gas station, about 500 yards from where Smith initially flagged down an officer. The child was wrapped in blankets inside a plastic tote box, in great health. Kayden Powell's parents identified the child as their son.
After the child was found, Smith was interviewed again, and admitted to taking the child from her sister's home in Wisconsin. Smith also admitted to putting the child behind the BP gas station. Smith also drew up a map of where the baby was found.
Kristen Smith is now charged with kidnapping and transporting the child across state lines. She's currently being held in the Cedar County Jail in Tipton. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
Read the full court complaint here.