Last week a baby boy was miraculously found buried alive under sticks and debris in the Montana wilderness by local law enforcement officers, 9 hours after he was left to die.
One officer stated that the baby was buried so deep under the debris that he almost stepped on his skull when they were searching for him. Luckily the officer saw the baby just in time and was able to rescue the five-month-old.
Last Tuesday, Missoula County Deputy Ross Jessop and U.S. Forest Service Officer Nick Scholz addressed reporters in a news conference, detailing how they found the missing baby after only hours of searching.
After receiving a phone call about a man “acting strange” near Lolo Hot Springs, Missoula County officers dispatched to the scene. They received calls while en route that the man had a gun and was threatening those around him with it.
They eventually tracked down 32-year-old Francis Carlton Crowley, who was under the influence of drugs. Even though Crowley could barely communicate, the officers could make out that he was talking about the baby being “possibly buried.”
Officers embarked on what was thought to be an impossible search and a body recovery operation. Then, complete shock.
“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.”
During the press conference, U.S. Forest Service Officer Nick Scholz recalled how he had received the call for the missing child while off duty, but immediately got on an ATV with Deputy Ross Jessop. Scholz stated that he was familiar with the suspect, and knew the area well.
The two found Crowley’s car, with the car seat inside, a mile up the mountain, and immediately began searching around the car for clues.
About seven yards from the car, they found children playing cards on the ground, and then a container of baby food and clothing in bushes further down the slope.
Finally, one of the searches spotted a baby carrier and diaper bag down the hill.
“We ran up there thinking we were gonna find a baby right there,” Scholz said.
But the baby was nowhere to be seen or heard.
They then realized that someone had clearly walked up the trail, by a visible path that had been made. The searchers began to hike up the mountain when 20 minutes later, at 2:30 a.m., they heard “a little baby murmur.”
“The sound I heard was an exhausted, tired baby that couldn’t have the lung capacity to cry,” Jessop said, describing the noise as “very faint.”
The officers recalled that the baby was “so well concealed” underneath the various debris he was buried under, that Jessop was almost “about ready to walk on the baby’s head,” he said.
Despite the child being in the cold for 9 hours, Jessop stated that he still had a “spark” in his eyes.
“The only thing I can say about this whole thing: It was a miracle,” Jessop said.
“I will never, ever doubt the Lord,” Jessop ended with.
Crowley, a resident of Portland, Oregon, is being held in Missoula County jail on $100,000 bond and is being charged with criminal endangerment and assault on a minor.
The AP reported that Crowley admitted that he used methamphetamine as well as bath salts. They also reported that Crowley’s reason for leaving the baby in the Montana woods was because the five-month-old was heavy.
Crowley already had his first court appearance regarding the charges in which he cried saying that, “I love that kid.”