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OR fugitive charged for burying baby alive near Missoula

10 July 2018

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says one man is now facing criminal charges after a baby was rescued from being buried alive in the mountains.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at around 8pm on Saturday reporting a man who was acting strangely in the Lolo Hot Springs area. Authorities say they were called about a man threatening people in the Lolo Hot Springs area of western Montana's Lolo National Forest.

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

Statements made by Crowley indicated the baby was possibly buried somewhere in the mountains.

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A five-month-old baby buried for more than nine hours under debris in Montana woodland suffered only minor injuries.

Crowley has been charged with criminal endangerment, according to the Missoula County jail roster. For those of us with children, it hits especially hard to know what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours. Deputies found him there and arrested him.

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. Crowley was released when OR officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said.

There remain unanswered questions about this case, such as who left the baby in Crowley's care and if they have given any statement to the police.

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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.

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.

That's when a deputy heard "the faint cry of a baby," the sheriff's office posted on Facebook.

"For all of us at the sheriffs office, this is what we call a miracle". He was taken to a nearby hospital and found to be in good condition.

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More charges are forthcoming for Crowley, police said.

OR fugitive charged for burying baby alive near Missoula