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

10 July 2018

He reportedly told the sheriff's office that the baby was buried somewhere in the mountains. The sheriff's office says that on Saturday evening, Crowley was behaving strangely and threatening people, and told officers that the infant in his care was buried in the mountains.

While deputies were looking for Crowley, a 911 call came in saying he had returned to the hot springs. The sheriff's office said Crowley appeared to be "under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers".

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

The baby was found alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris wearing a wet, soiled onesie.

The baby was transported to a local hospital and was said to be in a good condition.

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Police have charged 32-year-old Francis Crowley with criminal endangerment, and more charges are expected, reports the Missoulian.

"For all of us at the sheriff's office, this is what we call a miracle", the sheriff's office posted.

Authorities immediately deployed an extensive search party, calling on Missoula County Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Missoula County deputies to help find the missing baby.

Searchers followed the sound and found the infant alive, buried facedown beneath a pile of sticks and debris.

Police believe the baby had been left unattended in the woods for a minimum of nine hours.

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"He suffered some minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health", sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said in a statement Monday. For those of us with children, it hits especially hard to know what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours. There was no information on whether Crowley had an attorney.

(JULY 8, 2018) A man was arrested Saturday after a baby who was left in his care disappeared for several hours near Lolo Hot Springs.

It was was 2:30 a.m. Sunday local time and 46 degrees outside when they found the infant, the sheriff's office statement said.

More charges are forthcoming for Crowley, police said.

Bassett said in a press release that they "will not be providing names or confirming any identities in an effort to protect this baby's identity".

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Crowley has been charged with felony criminal endangerment and is being held on $50,000 bond, jail records show.