Woman Accused of Kidnapping Newborn Nephew Enters Not Guilty Plea

MADISON, Wisconsin - A Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her 5-day-old nephew from his Wisconsin home pleaded not guilty to one count of kidnapping Wednesday in Wisconsin federal court.

Kristen Smith, 31, is accused of taking Kayden Powell from his Beloit, Wis. home on Feb. 6, when the boy was four days old. Authorities have said Smith was in Powell's home at the time the baby was taken. She was contacted later that day on her cellphone and ordered to pull over and speak with law enforcement.

Police said Smith pulled into the Kum & Go, at 620 S Downey St., and flagged down West Branch police officer Alex Koch.

Koch saw baby clothing, a car seat and stroller in Smith's car, according to police documents. She was arrested on an arrest warrant for records tampering and fraud in Texas and taken to the Cedar County Jail.

On Feb. 7, West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan found Kayden inside a plastic bin outside the BP station, 401 Parkside Drive. The BP station is on the north side of Interstate 80, and the Kum & Go is on the south side of the interstate.

The temperatures outside were below freezing overnight and at the time Kayden was located, though no one seems certain about how long the child was outside.

A criminal complaint charging Smith with child endangerment states Smith admitted to taking Kayden and hiding him behind the BP gas station. She also drew a map indicating where the child could be found, which she provided to police.

A trial date has been set for June 23 in Madison, Wisconsin. If convicted of kidnapping, Smith would face a life sentence.
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