TODAY   |  February 08, 2014

Cop finds missing newborn at Iowa gas station

After a frantic search, a police officer found six-day-old Kayden Powell wrapped in blankets and alive at a gas station just 500 yards from where an arrest was made in a possible connection to the kidnapping. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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>>> a newborn baby is safe this morning and an iowa police chief being hailed as a hero for finding this 6-day-old child outside of a gas station after he was snatched in the middle of the night . joe fryer has more on the story.

>> reporter: the temps were in the single digits, the baby just 6 days old when he was found friday morning behind an iowa gas station .

>> surprisingly with the weather as the way it was, the baby was surprisingly healthy.

>> reporter: mike horahan, the police chief in west branch , heard the baby's cries and found little kayden powell wrapped in blankets left inside a plastic tote. many are calling the chief a hero.

>> it was very, very great day to find a baby alive and apparently well.

>> how's it feeling knowing that he's well?

>> oh, it's awesome. to be honest, that's not what i expected.

>> reporter: thursday morning, the newborn's parents reported the baby missing from their home in beloit, wisconsin, near the illinois border.

>> i just want my nephew back.

>> reporter: also gone, the baby's aunt, kristen rose smith, now charged with kidnapping. when police arrested smith in iowa wednesday, she didn't have the baby, but according to court documents, officers say they found baby clothing, a car seat and a stroller inside smith's car. they also found a prosthetic pregnancy belly and say a search of her phone revealed messages where smith claims she was pregnant. then friday, 500 yards from where smith was arrested, an alert police chief found kayden, ending the one-day hunt for a week-old baby. for "today," joe fryer, nbc news.