By John Dodge
(CBS) — A Denver woman who allegedly was faking her pregnancy was charged Friday with kidnapping in the disappearance of an newborn baby from Wisconsin.
Investigators found the 6-day-old infant, who disappeared from a home in southern Wisconsin — alive — along an interstate in Iowa.
Kayden Powell was found around 10:15 a.m. Friday near a gas station on Interstate 80 near West Branch. He was found in a tote bag, wrapped in blankets.
The newborn was outside for about 29 hours, officials said Friday. The temperature when the baby was found was five degrees.
Kristin Smith, 31, of Denver was charged with kidnapping in the case. She was arrested on unrelated charges on Thursday in Iowa.
The complaint alleges that on Thursday, Smith took the infant from a home in Wisconsin and transported the child across state lines to Iowa. Smith is currently being held at the Cedar County Jail in Tipton, Iowa.
Smith apparently took the baby because she had been faking her pregnancy. In investigators found a prosthetic pregnancy belly bump in her car.
If convicted of the federal kidnapping charge, Smith will face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
The baby was taken to an area hospital for tests but was not apparently harmed. He was released to his parents Friday.
FBI acting special agent G.B. Jones said West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan heard the baby crying while he was helping conduct a search of the area.
The baby’s 18-year-old mother called 911 after waking about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to find that her son was missing from his bassinet in a room where she was sleeping at a home in the town of Beloit, authorities said.
Police said Thursday night that about 40 officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were working on the case, but no suspects have been identified and no have been arrests made.
Smith was visiting the home Wednesday evening but left early Thursday to drive home to Denver. Police were able to reach the woman on her cellphone on Thursday, and she pulled off the highway in Iowa, near where Kayden was later found.
Authorities took Smith into custody on an unrelated outstanding warrant from Texas at a convenience store along I-80.
Police say they found baby clothes in the aunt’s car but not the baby.