Baby survives 9 hours buried under debris

  • Baby survives 9 hours buried under debris

Baby survives 9 hours buried under debris

According to investigators, that's when Crowley told them the baby was "possibly buried" somewhere in the mountains.

Authorities had received a 911 call Saturday night around 8 p.m. describing a male who was "acting strange" in the area of the Lolo Hot Springs in Missoula County, according to the sheriff's office.

Bassett added the deputies arrived at the scene to find that the suspect, Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, had left the area and that a five-month-old who had been left in his care had not been seen for several hours.

Another 911 caller later led authorities to Crowley, whom they took into custody.

"When trying to question Crowley, he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers."

The sheriff's office hastily put together a search crew of federal, state and local officials that combed the forest outside the hot springs for six hours before a deputy heard a baby's cry about 2.30am Sunday (local time). The infant was brought to a nearby hospital and in good condition, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities have arrested Crowley on a charge of criminal endangerment and expect to file additional charges, the sheriff's office said.

The revelation sparked a massive search effort that was carried out by members of Missoula County Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Montana Highway Patrol, and Missoula County deputies. The infant was only wearing a "wet and solid" onesie as he endured 46-degree temperatures for at least nine hours, according to police.

A 5-month-old baby boy was found alive after being abandoned and surviving a 9-hour ordeal in the Montana mountains.

"He suffered some minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health", sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said in a statement Monday.

Crowley may face other charges, the sheriff's office said. He's been charged with criminal endangerment, although local media indicate that more charges are coming. "For the officers who were present for this event, it's especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours", the statement concluded. There was no information on whether Crowley had an attorney. It is unclear if at this point if he has a lawyer.

It wasn't clear what Crowley's relationship is to the child or who the boy's mother is.