Skip to main content

See also:

Newborn found alive: Kidnapped baby survives frigid temps behind gas station

A newborn baby, missing from Wisconsin, was found safe and alive behind an Iowa gas station Friday morning. The six-day-old infant was wrapped in blankets, inside a plastic bin.

31-year-old Kristen Smith of Denver, Colorado was charged Friday with Kidnapping her newborn infant nephew from his home in Wisconsin, and then abandoning him behind an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures.
dailymail.co.uk/Getty

Authorities believe the newborn may have spent as long as 29 hours there, during which time temperatures dropped to 11 below zero, with a wind chill of 23 below, according to KCRG.com on Feb. 8.

Six-day-old Kayden Powell was located behind a BP gas station around 10:00 a.m. Friday. That’s just 500 yards away from another gas station where the baby's aunt was arrested a day earlier.

Shortly after a woman reported her newborn son missing from her Wisconsin home, police zeroed in on her half-sister, who was found with a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller, but no baby, according to Fox News.

Federal prosecutors charged infant Powell's aunt, 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Denver, Colorado, with kidnapping Friday afternoon. Smith faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of the crime.

Smith allegedly kidnapped the baby in the early morning hours of Friday. She was taking the baby's clothes back to Colorado with her since her half-sister and the baby's father were planning to move in with her at her Denver residence.

But at first, Smith denied taking the baby. When she became suspected of the crime, that's when she apparently abandoned the child behind the gas station.

Police began checking possible stops along the travel route between Beloit, Wis., and Denver. West Branch, Iowa Police Chief Mike Horihan finally located the baby at the BP station.

Investigators said a search of Smith's cellphone contained emails in which she claimed to have given birth on Feb. 5, according to a court document. And a search of her Facebook page revealed posts in which she claimed she was pregnant.

"Surprisingly with the weather the way it was, he was surprisingly healthy," Horihan said said of the infant. "To be honest with you, that's not what I expected."

Doctors said a child that young could die in a mere matter of minutes when exposed to that kind of weather. Also, newborns typically eat every three to four hours, but Powell may not have eaten for over a day.

Miraculously the infant boy overcame the odds stacked against him. Authorities said he's "doing very well." After a check-up at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the six-day-old was released to his parents in Beloit.

Authorities said records show Smith appears to go by multiple names and has had run-ins with the law in multiple states.