10/02/2014 07:22 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Aunt Arrested For Stealing And Dumping Newborn Baby

Woman Charged In Kidnapping Of Wisconsin Newborn

An aunt has been charged with kidnapping her five-day-old nephew and then dumping him in a bag at a petrol station.

Kristen Smith, 31, was wearing a prosthetic pregnancy belly, and had baby clothes and a pram with her, when she was arrested.

She had taken baby Kayden Powell from the room that he shared with his parents Brianna Marshall, 18, and Bruce Powell, 23, in Beloit, Wisconsin in the early hours of Thursday morning.

After a 24 hour hunt, police found and arrested Smith, the step-sister of Ms Marshall. However, the child wasn't with her.

It is believed that Smith, 31 – when realising that the police were closing in on her – abandoned the newborn at a BP station in West Branch, Iowa, roughly 180 miles from his home.

She had been visiting the new parents hours previously, before leaving the house and telling them she was bound for Colorado.

Kayden's mother had called police at 4.30am on Thursday when she woke up to find that her son was not in the room.

It wasn't until Friday at 5.30am that Smith was arrested – on an unrelated charge – and claimed that she had no information on the baby's whereabouts. The child was then discovered at 10.15am.

Temperatures had plummeted on Thursday night and were in the single digits when Kayden was found, amazingly, in good health. He was reunited with his parents on Saturday.

According to the Associated Press, police found a number of claims by Smith on social networks and in emails that she was pregnant – a test while in custody proved that she was not.

Mark Bennett, the great uncle of the newborn, said: "You stole him like you're stealing something from the grocery store. Nobody in their right mind should have thought of that."

If convicted, Smith faces life in prison.