A Montana deputy is being hailed as a hero. He found a 5-month-old baby boy who had been buried alive and left for at least nine hours in the Montana wilderness.
Police first came onto the scene because of a man “acting strange” around Lolo Hot Springs Montana at around 8pm on Saturday. There were reports that the man had threatened people and he claimed to have a gun. By the time the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, had left the area.
But the officers grew concerned because the infant child had been left in Crowley’s care and hadn’t been seen for hours.
When deputies were finally able to locate him, police said he appeared intoxicated and made statements indicating the baby might be buried somewhere in the mountains. Immediately, several departments including local Search and Rescue officers as well as members of the United States Forest Service, came together to look for the missing child.
“After more than 6 hours of searching on foot, a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby,” police said in a statement. “He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris.”
The baby was only clothed in a wet and soiled onesie, the police said. It was about 46 degrees that night. The child was taken to a local hospital and authorities say he is in good condition. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said in a statement Monday the baby suffered only minor scrapes and bruising.
“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle,” police said.
Custody of the child has been referred to the state Division of Child and Family Services.
Crowley was being held on $50,000 bail on a charge of criminal endangerment. Additional charges will follow, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Sunday.