'Miracle': Montana Authorities Find Abandoned Infant Alive Who Was Buried

Missing infant found alive buried under sticks in Montana mountains

Deputy Finds Baby in Woods After 6-Hour Search in Missoula, Montana

Crowley made statements to officers saying the baby was possibly buried in the mountains.

The case started about 8 p.m. Saturday when sheriff's deputies responded to a report about a man acting unusual and threatening people in the Lolo Hot Springs area, which is about 50 miles southwest of Missoula. More calls came in to dispatch and said the man was threatening people, claiming to have a gun and kept reaching into his pockets.

This Sunday, July 8, 2018 photo provided by the Missoula County Sheriff's Office shows a 5-month-old infant with dirt under their fingernails after authorities say the baby survived about nine hours being buried under sticks and debris in the woods.

While attempting to locate Crowley, a 911 caller said the suspect had returned to the hot springs.

That sparked a six hour search, which ended when a sheriff's deputy heard a cry.

Authorities soon learned that a 5-month-old baby, who had been left in Crowley's care, had been missing for several hours.

Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, is charged with criminal endangerment.

Missoula County Search and Rescue and U.S. Forest Service and Bureau officers along with the Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Highway Patrol, and additional deputies all responded to take part in a ground search.

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"For all of us at the sheriffs office, this is what we call a miracle", the department posted.

The Duluth News Tribune reported that 'He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris, ' to find the infant wearing 'only a wet and soiled onesie'.

"He suffered some minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health", sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said in a statement Monday.

According to a press release from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, Crowley appeared to be under the influence of some kind of intoxicant.

The nature of Crowley's relationship to the baby was not immediately clear. For those of us with children, it hits especially hard to know what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours.

No information has been released about the child's family except that Bassett said Crowley is not the biological father.

The infant, who was not identified, had been left in the 46-degree weather for at least nine hours, according to the sheriff's office.

Francis Crowley being held on $US50,000 bail on a charge of criminal endangerment.

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