Brianna Marshall discovered her 5-day-old son, Kayden, missing from his bassinette around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday and immediately called police. Officials said that within an hour of her call, they were investigating Brianna's stepsister Kristin Smith.
Just over 24 hours is all it took for authorities to find the baby boy, which they discovered in a plastic storage crate outside an Iowa gas station, in the freezing cold.
Authorities said he was alive and well, despite the cold.
"He's strong," the newborn's great-uncle, Mark Bennett, said of the boy. "I'm glad that baby is still living instead of in a ditch somewhere on a strange highway."
It was obvious to police that Smith was the kidnapper after they found her with a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller, however, there was no baby with her.
Investigators at BP gas station in West Branch after 6-day-old baby found in town. pic.twitter.com/SRf6Kgh1aF
— MichelleCorless KWWL (@MCorlessKWWL) February 7, 2014
Colorado woman charged with kidnapping 6-day-old baby from Wisconsin http://t.co/ocYsNYvyBu Yo go girl!
— Susan Dusenburg (@calfl32) February 8, 2014
Smith, who resides in Denver, had premeditated this kidnapping as her Facebook page revealed she had pretended to be pregnant, and then proceeded to go to Wisconsin to steal her step-sister's baby. Then, as police closed in on her, she allegedly abandoned the infant, who was luckily wrapped in blankets.
Police were able to reach Smith on her cellphone, and she pulled off the highway in Iowa. Authorities took her into custody on an outstanding warrant from Texas. Police say they found baby clothes in the aunt's car but not the baby.
A search of her cellphone revealed emails in which she said she gave birth on Feb. 5, according to the court document.
"Surprisingly with the weather the way it was, he was surprisingly healthy," Horihan, the Iowa police chief, said. "To be honest with you, that's not what I expected."
Kayden was then taken to a local Iowa hospital as a precaution, and was reunited and released to his worried parents on Friday evening.
If (or when) Smith is convicted, she will face life in prison.
Image via YouTube