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After 6-Hour Search, Deputy Finds Baby in Woods

'This is what we call a miracle,' says sheriff's office in Missoula, Mont.
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2018 11:05 AM CDT
Francis Carlton Crowley.   (Missoula County Sheriff’s Office)

(Newser) – "This is what we call miracle," reads a Facebook post from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office in Montana. The reference is to a deputy who heard a faint cry in the woods and discovered a baby buried under sticks and debris, a happy end to a frantic six-hour search at night with temperatures in the 40s. "He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down," reads the post. The 5-month-old, wearing only a "wet and soiled onesie," had actually been in the woods for at least nine hours before being discovered about 2:30am Sunday. Police have charged 32-year-old Francis Crowley with criminal endangerment, and more charges are expected, reports the Missoulian.

The ordeal started when police received calls Saturday night in the Lolo Hot Springs area, alleging that Crowley was acting erratically and threatening people. He was gone by the time police arrived, but officers learned that an infant placed in his care (the relationship isn't spelled out) hadn't been seen for hours. Police finally tracked down Crowley thanks to another caller's tip, and though officers say he appeared to be on drugs and was nearly incoherent, he managed to convey that the baby was "somewhere in the mountains," per the Washington Post. The search then ensued. The baby is in good condition, but it's "especially hard knowing what this small baby endured," says the sheriff's post. (Read more abandoned baby stories.)

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