Doctor: Baby’s survival in bin ‘miraculous’

Newborn boy missing more than 29 hours found alive outside in plastic tote

The doctor who treated Kayden Powell called the newborn’s survival “miraculous.”


Dr. Jeff Segar is the director of neonatology at The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

He examined the now 7-day-old Powell Friday after he was rescued from outside a BP gas station, about 10 miles away from the hospital in West Branch, Iowa.

Powell’s mother reported him missing Thursday morning from his bassinet in a town of Beloit home. Police found him tucked in a storage crate outside the gas station in frigid temperatures more than 24 hours later.

“The person that left the baby there went to great efforts to wrap the baby and keep it warm,” said West Branch Police Chief Horihan, who discovered the infant when he heard Powell crying. “But I would say there’s no way a reasonable person would expect a baby to survive in this kind of environment for a period of time, so it’s truly remarkable.”

Segar said besides being hungry, Kayden was in good condition and was discharged from the hospital Friday evening.

“I struggle to understand the medical plausibility of a child being outside for as long as that child supposedly was in that night’s weather,” Segar said.

Segar said the infant isn’t at risk for future complications and recommended his parents follow up with normal newborn care.

“That’s one of the rewarding things about working with babies,” Segar said. “They’re so resilient and you never quite know what to expect from them.”

Powell’s aunt Kristen Smith, half-sister of the baby’s mother, Brianna Marshall, has been charged in the kidnapping.