Kayden Powell was taken from his bassinette next to his sleeping parents inside their Beloit, Wis., home, early Thursday morning. Kayden’s mother, 18-year-old Brianna Marshall, and his father, 23-year-old Bruce Powell, awoke Thursday at 4:30 a.m. and found him missing.
The infant was found today inside of a plastic storage bin outside a West Branch, Iowa, gas station. Kayden was unhurt, swaddled in a tote bag. The baby’s aunt, Kristin Smith, who had been taken into custody prior to Kayden being found, was subsequently arrested.
Smith left the house in Beloit at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, evidently with Kayden. She said she planned to drive back to her Colorado home after spending time with the newborn parents.
An Amber Alert was issued for Kayden, and police reached Smith on her cell phone as she was driving through Iowa. She pulled into a gas station, where state troopers met her and searched her vehicle. Officers found baby clothes in her car, but no signs of the missing newborn.
Smith, who had an unrelated outstanding warrant from Texas, was taken into custody. She later admitted to stealing Kayden. Police returned to the gas station and found Kayden tucked up inside of a duffel bag. No explanation has been released as to why the aunt snatched the baby and fled.
"Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive and appears to be doing very well," Beloit Chief of Police Steve Kopp said in a statement. "In the words of the EMS officials, he is in 'excellent' health.'"
"Kayden's family has been notified of this fantastic news, and our efforts now center on reuniting the family with Kayden," Kopp said.