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Aunt accused of kidnapping Wis. newborn due in court Friday

Newborn Kayden Powell was found by police at a BP gas station in West Branch, Iowa on Feb. 7, 2014 CBS affiliate WDJT

A woman charged with kidnapping a Wisconsin newborn and leaving him behind an Iowa gas station is due in court Friday.

An extradition hearing is scheduled for the aunt of infant Kayden Powell, 31-year-old Kristen Smith, on a Texas warrant charging her with tampering with government records.

Federal prosecutors have charged Smith with kidnapping Powell but have yet to take her into federal custody. She's jailed on the Texas warrant and an Iowa child endangerment charge.

West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan, who found Kayden in a tote bag outside a BP gas station Feb. 7 in West Branch, Iowa, told CBS affiliate WDJT that he feared the worst.

“I was kind of thinking it was a coffin,” said Horihan. “When I heard the cry it just totally surprised me. Totally remarkable. I can tell you I don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised in my life.”

Investigators say Smith took her half-sister's baby from a southern Wisconsin home Feb. 6. After the baby's mother reported him missing, police contacted Smith as she was driving through Iowa and ordered her to stop for questioning.

She denied knowledge of Kayden's whereabouts, but was arrested on the Texas warrant. Police found the child alive about 29 hours later.

  • Crimesider Staff

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