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Army discharged kidnapping suspect

Published On: Feb 20 2014 11:38:16 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 20 2014 11:38:37 AM CST

Left: Cedar County, Iowa, Sheriff's Dept. booking photo taken Feb. 6 of Kristen R. Smith

Right: Photo provided by Marathon County, Wis., Sheriff's Dept. of Kristen L. Pearson dated June 6, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa -

The U.S. Army Reserve said a woman charged with kidnapping her half-sister's newborn this month was involuntarily removed from duty.

Military officials told The Associated Press that Kristen Smith served in a Wisconsin-based Army Reserve unit from December 2011 until her discharge a year later.

A U.S. Army Reserve spokesman said that a discharge so early into an 8-year commitment usually signals major problems with one's service record or personal life. The reason for Smith's discharge cannot be divulged under Army policy.

Smith was indicted Wednesday in the Feb. 6 kidnapping of her newborn nephew, Kayden Powell. Investigators said Smith took him from a Wisconsin home where she was visiting her sister and left him in freezing temperatures in Iowa. Kayden was found alive the next day.

Smith is expected to make her an appearance in federal court in Wisconsin Friday.

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