Baby Kayden, mom doing well year after kidnapping

It has been one year since law enforcement teamed up across state lines to help reunite a 5-day-old baby and his frantic mother after he disappeared from his bed in the middle of the night.

On Feb. 6, 2014, Brianna Marshall woke up in her Beloit, Wis. home just before dawn to check on newborn baby Kayden — and instead found an empty crib. Fast forward 27 hours and 325 miles to West Branch, Iowa, where police found baby Kayden outside a gas station dumpster in a plastic bin, surviving overnight in sub-zero temperatures.

Kayden’s aunt Kristen Smith was arrested and later convicted of kidnapping her nephew, after she faked a pregnancy and took baby Kayden from his home with the intent of claiming him as her own. She is serving 25 years for that crime.

Today, Brianna and Baby Kayden are back in Beloit and moving on with their lives as best they can – but Brianna says she often relives that night, according to an interview with CBS affiliate KGAN. 

“There was a period where I had sleep insomnia and cried,” Brianna says. “[I think,] ‘Will it happen again?'”

Brianna doesn’t remember much of those nearly 30 hours without her newborn – “a little bit after, and some times during,” she says – but she does remember the moment an FBI officer called to tell her baby Kayden was found, alive and well.

“I remember she had the picture on her phone and I didn’t give her her phone back until we were halfway [to the hospital],” Brianna says. “At the hospital, they had police out in front of his room, and I pushed them – I didn’t mean to, but I pushed them and just grabbed him.”

Brianna’s been holding him ever since – going seven months or more without letting Kayden out of her sight.

“I don’t leave his side unless I have to go to school,” Brianna says.

The officers who helped find Kayden still remember those hours clear as day.

“I kind of think what would’ve happened if I wasn’t there more than anything else,” says West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan, the officer who first opened the plastic bin to find Kayden inside.

“I felt I was meant to be there, and I was being guided.”

Today, baby Kayden is no longer a baby – he’s a toddler, laughing and smiling and even walking now. Brianna says she’s grateful he will never remember the events that took place last February, but she will never forget those who helped reunite her with Kayden.

“They hold a very special place in my heart,” she says of the West Branch Police Department.

Brianna has also asked Chief Horihan to be Kayden’s godfather.