The story told in the arrest affidavit of Denver's Kristen Rose Smith is so bizarre that it seems more like fiction than fact. But authorities in Wisconsin stand by their account, which states that Smith faked a pregnancy, kidnapped Kayden Powell, the days-old baby of her half-sister, and then left the infant behind a gas station as police moved in.
The baby is fine, thank goodness. The same can't be said of Smith, however. Get details and see photos, a video and the complete affidavit below.
The affidavit was submitted under the auspices of the FBI, since Kayden was transported across state lines, making the kidnapping a federal crime.
At 4:30 a.m. on February 6, according to the document, cops in Beloit, Wisconsin were dispatched to a home on the 800 block of Homeland Court on a report that a four-day-old baby was missing.
The boy's mother -- referred to as "BM" in the arrest report but identified by 7News as Brianna Marshall -- told officers that she discovered Kayden missing from his bassinet a few hours after her half-sister, Smith, had planned to leave for a drive back to Denver, her home.
Then, around 4:54 a.m., Smith called Marshall's grandmother, who was also on hand, and the phone was passed to one of the officers.
In that conversation, Smith, who was en route to Denver at the time, allegedly said Marshall, her boyfriend and the baby were planning a move to Colorado to live with her.
She added that she had some of Kayden's clothes with her, but not the infant himself.
In response, the officer told Smith to pull over at the nearest gas station and wait for police to come and question her about the disappearance.
Just under a half-hour later, at 5:21 a.m., Smith called back to say she was at a gas station off Highway 80 in West Branch, Iowa, and within minutes, she was being interviewed by an officer there.
Smith subsequently gave the officer permission to search her ride. He found the aforementioned baby clothes, plus a car seat, a stroller and a "prosthetic pregnancy belly."
But the baby was nowhere to be seen.
Shortly thereafter, Smith was arrested, although not initially for kidnapping.
Instead, she was cuffed upon the discovery that she was named in a warrant from Texas on what's described as an unrelated crime. 7News says the warrant pertains to a felony indictment for tampering with government documents dating to late last year, when she was jailed in Colorado.
The station adds that Smith has had run-ins with the law in several states and is also believed to have used multiple false names over the years.
During interrogation, the narrative says Smith let police check her e-mails and Facebook page, and they soon came across communication maintaining that she'd given birth on February 5 -- the previous day. She also submitted to a polygraph examination, which she's said to have failed.
Meanwhile, the search for the baby continued, and just after 10 a.m. on February 7, more than a day later, he was found behind another gas station in West Branch -- this one about 500 yards away from the one where she'd met law enforcement. He is said to have been swaddled in blankets and left in a "plastic tote box."
Temperatures were plenty cold in Iowa on that day, but somehow, Kayden appears to have survived his ordeal without sustaining any permanent damage.
As for Smith, who has now reportedly confessed to snatching the baby from Marshall's home and then leaving him behind the gas station as the cops closed in, she's been formally accused of kidnapping -- and no one will be surprised if more charges are added down the line.
Look below to see a larger version of her mug shot, followed by a 7News report featuring an interview with a local woman who says her warnings about Smith were ignored. After that, you'll find the arrest affidavit.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa November 2013: "John Snorsky's friends insist accused Aurora child kidnapper is innocent."