Baby found buried in debris near Lolo Hot Springs is recovering

Leroy Wright
July 10, 2018

According to investigators, that's when Crowley told them the baby was "possibly buried" somewhere in the mountains.

The ordeal started when police received calls Saturday night in the Lolo Hot Springs area, alleging that Crowley was acting erratically and threatening people.

When deputies found the man, he said a baby who was in his care hadn't been seen for several hours.

Crowley ran before cops arrived to the Lolo Hot Springs area but was later arrested thanks to further calls from locals. The sheriff's office said Crowley appeared to be "under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers".

The sheriff's office hastily put together a search crew of federal, state and local officials that combed the forest outside the hot springs for six hours before a deputy heard a baby's cry about 2.30am Sunday (local time).

Rescuers in Montana found a baby, alive and well, after being abandoned for nine hours in the cold woods.

The infant was in good condition at a hospital after being left alone for "several hours", the Missoula County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, has been charged with criminal endangerment with additional charges pending, according to a Facebook post from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office. The deputy followed that faint sound until he found the baby, who was buried under sticks and debris while face down, according to the post.

Because of the urgency of the situation, members of Missoula County Search and Rescue joined a ground search with officers from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Montana Highway Patrol and sheriff's deputies.

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

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

The baby endured temperatures in the 40s for at least nine hours and was found face down and clothed in only a wet and soiled onesie, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

Authorities have not yet released information about the relationship between Crowley and the baby, nor released any information about the mother of the baby. They say they won't be confirming names to protect the baby's identity. Crowley was charged with criminal endangerment and jailed.

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