Baby found buried alive in Missoula County mountains

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

"This is what we call miracle", reads a Facebook post from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office in Montana.

The case started about 8 p.m. Saturday when sheriff's deputies responded to a report about a man acting odd and threatening people in the Lolo Hot Springs area, which is about 50 miles southwest of Missoula.

When the deputies were en route to the scene, emergency dispatchers received more calls stating that the man was threatening people and saying he had a gun, authorities said.

Crowley left the area before deputies arrived, but they learned that the baby who was supposed to be with him hadn't been seen for several hours.

Eventually, Crowley returned to the hot springs and was apprehended.

The deputy heard the "faint cry of a baby" during the search and followed the sound, only to find the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris, a sheriff's office news release said.

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A Montana man was arrested after a 5-month-old baby was found buried under a pile of sticks in the woods.

Francis Crowley, 32, is being held on 50,000 USA dollar bail on a charge of criminal endangerment.

Law enforcement officials attempted to question the 32-year-old, but 'he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers, ' according to a press release from the sheriff's office. He was expected to face additional charges, and it was not immediately clear what his relationship was with the child, a police statement said.

'For the officers who were present for this event, it's especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours'.

That began a multi-agency search-and-rescue effort, helped by Missoula County Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Missoula County deputies.

The unidentified infant was "clothed in only a wet and soiled onesie ... in the woods, unattended and in the cold (approximately 46 degrees) for a minimum of 9 hours", according to the statement. He was subsequently released after OR officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said. He was taken to a nearby hospital and found to be in good condition.

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