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Baby kidnapping suspect has central Wisconsin criminal history and several aliases


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The woman accused of kidnapping her infant nephew from a Beloit area home a week ago has a lengthy criminal history, including some in our own area.

WAOW television in Wausau discovered that 31-year-old Kristen R. Smith has been charged with crimes in Marathon County under the alias of Kristen Pearson. The television station was able to obtain mugshots and documents proving Smith and Pearson are the same woman.

While living in Wausau, Smith spent nine months in jail for issuing bad checks. She has several misdemeanors and a few felonies in central Wisconsin. Smith also lived in Milwaukee at one time.

Smith is also in trouble for using an additional alias name. The Tarrant County Texas District Attorney says they used fingerprints and photographs to confirm was arrested under a different alias name in Colorado last year.

Kristen Smith’s last known residence is Denver, Colorado. She faces multiple fraud and document tampering charges in three states along with the Wisconsin charges for kidnapping.

Police still don’t know why Smith pretended to be pregnant, went to Wisconsin, and stole her step-sister’s baby Kayden Powell from a bassinet as his parents slept. A prosthetic belly was found in her car and she had posted to Facebook claiming she was pregnant and gave birth February 5th.

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.