AURORA - An Aurora couple says accusations their daughter's step-mother kidnapped and abandoned a newborn are chilling and wonder if the incident could have been prevented.
Police say Kristen Smith of Denver faked a pregnancy, went to Wisconsin to kidnap her sister's son then abandoned the baby at an Iowa gas station when police closed in on her.
Officers said they discovered a prosthetic belly in Smith's car along with a stroller and baby clothes. Six-day-old Kayden Powell was found safe and in good health Friday despite sub-zero temperatures.
Smith is the step-mother of Indya Ford's 7-year-old daughter, JoVanni. Ford said JoVanni was with Smith just days ago and believed that Smith was pregnant.
"When JoVanni was telling me that she was having a baby brother, I asked her if she was excited and she told me, 'Yeah, I can't wait for my brother to come,'" Ford said. "[Smith] said she was naming the baby Kasen."
Ford and her husband said they've spent more than a year in a custody battle with JoVanni's biological father and Smith, his new wife. They tried to get a restraining order against Smith and notified the courts that Smith had an outstanding warrant in Texas and faced accusations of identity theft.
"For whatever reason, it wasn't investigated," Ford said.
Now that Smith is accused in this bizarre ploy that could have cost a family their child, the Fords say they wish someone would've listened to them.
"I cried like a baby. It hurt my heart," Ford said. "I told the police what's going on. All of this could have been prevented if somebody would've looked into what I was saying to begin with."
Smith faces life in prison if she's convicted.
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