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Accused kidnapper appears in federal court

 Accused kidnapper appears in federal court

 

 

UPDATE, 2/21/14 --

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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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.

 

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PDATED Friday, February 14, 2014 --- 3:53 pm.

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.

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UPDATED Monday, February 10, 2014

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.

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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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 Kristin 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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UPDATE; Six-day-old Kayden Powell is said to be in good condition after the infant was found in a tote bag at a truck stop in West Branch, Iowa just after 10 a.m. Friday.  It's the location where the child's aunt was taken into custody on Thursday, on an unrelated warrant.

MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW.

 

 

Previous reports:

Authorities in Beloit say there are no "hard leads" in the disappearance of Kayden Powell. They held a news conference Thursday night,but were still saying they were at a loss as to where the infant could be.

Authorities have interviewed several relatives who were at the home leading up to his disappearance.

The residence is owned by the baby's great grandmother. The young family reportedly had been staying there because someone who they live with was sick, and they didn't want to put the newborn at risk of illness.

An aunt of Kayden was taken into custody on an unrelated warrant in Iowa. She had been on her way back home to Colorado after the Beloit visit. The newborn was not with her.

The F-B-I is also involved in the investigation.

 

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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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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 bassinet 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 says 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.

 

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