Kayden was found in subzero temperatures, wrapped in blankets, behind a gas station in eastern Iowa.
A woman who claimed she was pregnant has been charged with kidnapping a newborn who was found alive in a plastic crate after a two-day, three-state search.
The newborn's mother, Brianna Marshall, reported 6-day-old Kayden Powell missing from a Wisconsin home early Thursday. While police were questioning her stepsister, Kristen Smith, they found a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller, but no baby, according to court documents.
Kayden was found in subzero temperatures, wrapped in blankets, behind a gas station in eastern Iowa on Friday. Temperatures dropped as low as minus 11 on Friday morning and minus 23 with wind-chill factor.
Smith admitted to authorities Friday that she had placed the infant alongside the gas station before she was arrested by police on unrelated charges early Thursday. She also provided authorities with a hand-drawn map of where the baby was found.
"You could have knocked me over with a feather," West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan, who discovered Kayden in the closed, gray bin, told TheDes Moines Register. "It really freaked me out when I opened up the container and heard a baby cry."
Before the baby was found, authorities searched Smith's cellphone with her consent and found e-mails sent by Smith claiming she had given birth Feb. 5, though she had not appeared pregnant while in Wisconsin, according to the complaint.
Smith's Facebook account also contained posts in which she claimed she was pregnant, according to the complaint. A pregnancy test was administered at the jail, and it came back negative.
Horihan told the Iowa City Press-Citizen he could not confirm how long the baby had been near the gas station when he found Kayden at 10:06 a.m. but said the plastic crate was covered in frost when he approached it, and it was clear the container had been there "an extended period of time."
A spokesperson for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where the child was treated, said Friday evening that the baby was in good condition and had been discharged.
Smith faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for federal kidnapping charges. Officials would not speculate about Smith's motivations.
Horihan said the baby would not have fared as well had he been found much later.
"We didn't have time to spare — there's only so long a baby can last without food or water," Horihan said.
Contributing:Sharyn Jackson and Lauren Horsch, The Des Moines Register; Josh O'Leary, Iowa City Press-Citizen