Kayden Powell's parents speak out about ordeal

By: NBC & AP Email
By: NBC & AP Email

Chicago, IL (NBC) -- Now safe in his parents arms, baby Kayden is in Chicago with his mom and dad. Today NBC caught up with the grateful family, as they shared their traumatic experience.

"To be honest with you it felt like hell," says Kayden's father, Bruce Powell.

"Sickening, I could barely walk or breathe it just felt like the life was ripped out of me," says Kayden's mother, Brianna Marshall.

Just 5 days into parenthood, Bruce Powell and Brianna Marshall experienced everyone's worst nightmare.

"I woke up and I saw clothes hanging over the side of the bassinet and I didn't want them to fall on him, so I jumped up and touched the blanket to make sure he was OK and he was gone."

Vanished from the same room they were sleeping in, the new parents say the 30 hours that followed were the worst of their lives.

"I was just worried about him eating and where he was."

That answer finally came for Brianna. Thirty hours after she reported her son missing an FBI agent came into the room and said a baby was found. She showed the couple a picture of the child, and sure enough, it was Kayden. Hundreds of miles away in Iowa.

Seven hours later, mom, dad, and baby were reunited. Baby Kayden now sporting the colors of Iowa State. Powell says surviving the cold all on his own was nothing short of a miracle.

"God had my son out there for 30 hours in the cold."

Feeling grateful and blessed to have their child back in their arms, Brianna says it's still frustrating that she ever lost him in the first place.

"I want to know what's going through your head. You're my sister and you did this to my son, my only son. I just don't understand."

The couple wants to make sure to thank every agency involved in helping to find Kayden. They say they can't believe how many people were willing to spend countless hours in the bitter cold tracking him down. They say they're forever grateful.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 6:10 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A Wisconsin infant who was abducted and left out in the cold in Iowa has been reunited with his parents and is on his way home.

Kayden Powell's mother discovered him missing early Thursday morning from his bassinet in a Town of Beloit home. Police found him tucked in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures more than 24 hours later.

A spokeswoman for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City says Kayden is in good condition and was discharged from the hospital Friday evening.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Brown says the nearly week-old baby is with his parents and heading back to Wisconsin.

Kayden's aunt has been charged in his disappearance.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 4:20 p.m.

Kristen Smith, the aunt of Kayden Powell, has been charged with kidnapping.

The infant was found safe Friday morning at a gas station in Iowa.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith allowed police to search her cell phone, Facebook account and her car on Thursday.

Her phone reportedly contained an e-mail where she said she gave birth to a baby on Wednesday, despite the fact she did not appear pregnant and was not pregnant while in Wisconsin.

The complaint says a prosthetic pregnancy belly was found inside Smith's car. Smith also allegedly posted on her Facebook page that she was pregnant.

The complaint also says that after Kayden was found, Smith admitted she took the infant and to leaving him at the gas station where he was found.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 4:04 p.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Denver woman with kidnapping a newborn from his southern Wisconsin home.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil filed the charge against Kristen Smith on Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief discovered the nearly week-old Kayden Powell alive and well in a plastic storage bin outside a West Branch, Iowa, gas station.

The newborn disappeared from the Town of Beloit house where he was staying with his mother early Thursday morning. Police arrested Smith hours later at a gas station about a half-mile from the station where the newborn was found.

Smith faces life in prison if she's convicted.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 3:58 p.m.

A Denver woman has been charged with kidnapping in the Kayden Powell case.

According to a criminal complaint, 31-year-old Kristen Smith allegedly took Powell from a home in the Town of Beloit Thursday and took the child to Iowa.

The child was found safe at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa.

Smith was arrested in Iowa Thursday on unrelated charges.

If convicted of the federal kidnapping charge, Smith will face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 11:32: a.m.

Breaking news -- Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp announced 6-day-old baby Kayden Powell has been found alive. "Despite frigid temperatures, Kayden was found alive and appears to be doing very well." He said EMS crews who found the infant boy say "he is in excellent health."

Kopp was joined by Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden and members of the FBI. He told a room full of reporters that Kayden was found at a gas station off Interstate 80 in Iowa. Police Chief Mike Horihan from the West Branch P.D. found the boy in a tote bag, swaddled in blankets. Local authorities are praising Horihan as a hero. They say he found baby Kayden during a general canvas of the area.

Authorities are not saying how the newborn ended up at the Iowa gas station, but Kopp says it was "in the general area" of the place a relative of the baby was arrested yesterday.

At 5:30 a.m. yesterday -- one hour after Kayden was reported missing -- Kristen Smith was arrested in West Branch. She had been visiting the family in the Town of Beloit home before leaving early in the morning to drive to her Denver, Colorado home. Investigators in Beloit contacted her by phone, at which point she flagged down a local officer in West Branch to speak with the investigator. The officer then checked Smith's car for the missing Kayden, and after running her information through his system, discovered she was wanted for an outstanding felony warrant from Texas. Smith was then arrested, but was not called a suspect in the Kayden Powell disappearance. Today, however, she is being called a person of interest.

The Rock County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney are discussing possible local and federal charges, though authorities have not confirmed who may be charged in this case.

Authorities say they are in the process of reuniting Kayden Powell with his family.

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UPDATED Friday, February 7, 2014 --- 9:16 a.m.

Town of Beloit authorities plan to hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday on their investigation into a missing baby.

Kayden Powell was reported missing early Thursday morning, and has not been found.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 6:59 p.m.

In a press conference that took place around 6:00 p.m. tonight, authorities say they do not have any suspects in custody in relation to missing infant, Kayden Powell.

Officials with the Town of Beloit police and Rock Co. Sheriff's Office says they will continue to investigate the case through out the night.

Officials plan to hold another press conference on the status of the investigation, tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m., unless a major development comes down on the investigation.

Anyone who has information regarding Kayden’s whereabouts, or any other information pertaining to this case, is strongly urged to contact the Amber Tipline at (608) 758-8477 or the Rock County Communications Center at (608) 757-2244.
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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 2:38 p.m.

Town of Beloit Police say they have no suspects right now as they search for a baby that went missing from a local home.

Police say they have interviewed eight people in this case. All of those interviewed were known to be in the house within 12 hours of the time the 5-day-old baby was reported missing.

One of those people was Kristen Smith, the woman who was arrested around 5:30 this morning in Iowa. She is not a suspect in the case.

Police say all eight people they have interviewed have been cooperative. There were four at the home when the baby was reported missing: the mother, father, a brother of the mother and a great grandmother.

There was no forced entry into the home. Police say this is still an active search.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 2:10 p.m.

Authorities in Iowa say they have searched a woman's car in connection to the Town of Beloit missing baby case, but the infant has not been found.

Police in West Branch, Iowa say the woman flagged an officer down around 5:30 this morning while at a gas station.

The woman was on the phone with another law enforcement agency. West Branch Police would not confirm the name of the other agency with NBC15.

The woman handed the cell phone to the West Branch Officer, who spoke to someone with the other agency. After the two officers spoke, the woman gave the West Branch Officer permission to search her car for a missing baby. He did not find any evidence in the case.

The officer ran the woman's name and arrested her in connection with an unrelated, outstanding warrant in a different state.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 1:48 p.m.

From our news partner, WIFR in Rockford:

TOWN OF BELOIT (WIFR) -- Police are trying to locate a 5 day-old baby boy who went missing from a home in the Town of Beloit early Thursday morning.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell contacted police immediately after she woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning in a home located in the 800 block of Homeland Court when she discovered her son was gone. The home belongs to the great-grandmother of the infant.

According to police an Amber Alert has not been issued because the case does not meet the criteria at this time. Right now, police say no one is in custody and they do not have a possible vehicle description. Law enforcement have brought 4 people in for questioning including both parents, another family member, and a friend.

Along with Beloit police, the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Rock County Sheriff's Department are also involved in the search.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244, or Greater Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 10:56 a.m.

Town of Beloit Police are releasing more information as they search for an infant that was reported missing from a home Thursday morning.

Police took a call at 4:34 a.m. for a report of a 5-day-old child missing from 836 E. Homeland Court. The mother, Brianna Marshall, awoke and found the baby missing.

The baby's name as Kayden Powell. Police say Kayden is African American, 20 inches long, 6 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Officers and agents are in the process of locating and interviewing friends and family members. The home is being processed for physical evidence.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244, or Greater Beloit Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 10:16 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Federal and state law enforcement agencies are helping local authorities in a search for a 4-day-old baby in Rock County.

Authorities say the newborn's mother called 911 after waking about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to find the child, Kayden Powell, missing from his bassinette in a room where she was sleeping at a home in the Town of Beloit.

Town Police Chief Steven Kopp says the 18-year-old mother, Brianna Marshall, and the infant's 23-year-old father, Bruce Powell, were staying at the house. Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette investigators are questioning people who were at the house Wednesday night.

Kopp says the incident is not believed to be a custody dispute. The chief says an Amber Alert was not issued because the disappearance doesn't meet the criteria.

The FBI and Wisconsin Department of Justice are assisting with the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 9:26 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are searching for a newborn missing from a Town of Beloit home.

Police say the mother of the baby called 911 about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report the missing 4-day-old child.

Town Police Chief Steven Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette that two people at the baby's home Wednesday night are being questioned, but there have been no arrests. The FBI is getting involved in the case. FBI spokesman Leonard Peace says local law enforcement officials requested the agency's assistance. He would not comment on whether authorities believe the child was taken across state lines.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department and Beloit police are also working with town officers on the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 9:00 a.m.

From our news partner, WIFR in Rockford:

BELOIT (WIFR)-- Police are trying to locate a 4 day-old baby who went missing a home in the town of Beloit early Thursday morning.

Beloit police chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell contacted police immediately after woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning in her home located in the 800 block of Homeland Ct when she discovered her son was gone.

Police do not have any suspects in custody nor a possible vehicle description but did bring in two people who were at the home last night for questioning.

Along with Beloit police, the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Rock County Sheriff's Department are also involved in the search.

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Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 8:56 a.m.

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are searching for a newborn missing from a Town of Beloit home.

Police say the mother of the baby called 911 about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report the missing 4-day-old child. Town Police Chief Steven Kopp tells The Janesville Gazette that two people at the baby's home Wednesday night are being questioned, but there have been no arrests.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department and Beloit police are working with town officers on the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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