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Beloit kidnapping includes fake pregnancy

BELOIT, Wis. (WSAU) -- The woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby and abandoning him at an Iowa gas station was pretending to be pregnant at the time.

According to court documents, Kristen Smith of Denver, Colorado had pretended to be pregnant, went to Wisconsin, and stole her step-sister’s baby Kayden Powell from his bassinet as his parents slept. A prosthetic belly was found in her car and she had posted to Facebook claiming she was pregnant.

Powell’s mother Brianna Marshall said Smith had left the house before the disappearance to return to Colorado. While police were at the house Smith called on her cellphone. Police told her to pull over for questioning and an officer met her near a gas station in West Branch, Iowa. After being arrested on an outstanding Texas warrant she denied any knowledge of Kayden’s whereabouts.

Federal investigators charged Smith with the kidnapping on Friday.