Baby survives nine hours buried in western Montana woods

Baby survives nine hours buried in western Montana woods

The Missoula County Search and Rescue, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Montana Highway Patrol and Missoula County Sheriff's Office all worked together to track the baby down.

Crowley was later apprehended, and deputies learned a 5-month-old baby he had been caring for had not been seen for several hours. The name of the boy was not released.

The search began at about 8 p.m. Saturday night, when 911 calls poured in about a man who was "acting strange" in the Lolo Hot Springs area.

Police in Montana arrested a man who was reportedly watching a 5-month-old boy that officers would find buried alive under a pile of sticks and debris.

Police say 32-year-old Francis Crowley is being held on US$50,000 (NZ$73,090) bail. Police finally tracked down Crowley thanks to another caller's tip, and though officers say he appeared to be on drugs and was almost incoherent, he managed to convey that the baby was "somewhere in the mountains", per the Washington Post.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says the baby is in good condition at a hospital and calls it a miracle that the child survived the weekend ordeal.

Crowley, who will likely face additional charges, is scheduled to appear Tuesday afternoon in Missoula County Justice Court.

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Almost six-and-a-half hours later, an officer heard "the faint cry of a baby", and found the child face down on the ground, buried under a pile of forest debris. 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.

While deputies were looking for Crowley, a 911 call came in saying he had returned to the hot springs.

When they eventually arrested him, 'he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers, ' a sheriff's report noted.

The infant was in the woods for at least 9 hours, the sheriff's office said, while the temperature was about 46 degrees.

The infant was in good condition after being found face down around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the Lolo Hot Springs area, Bassett said.

Crowley is now being held at Missoula County Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bond, and is expected to face further charges.

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