Baby found alive buried under debris in woods

Francis Crowley 32 was being held on US$50,000 bail on a charge of criminal endangerment. Additional

The sheriff's office said, "For all of us at the sheriff's office, this is what we call a miracle". He had a sparkle in his eye. "I just wrapped that baby up just like a father would any child in need".

Crowley was charged with criminal endangerment and assault on a minor and held at the Missoula County jail on US$200,000 bond, online jail records showed.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office found the infant after responding to a call about a man reportedly "acting strange" July 7 at approximately 8 p.m.in Lolo Hot Springs.

The officers found the infant facedown under a pile of sticks and debris, clothed only in a wet and soiled onesie, a statement from the sheriff's office said.

There was a lot of emotion in the room Tuesday as Missoula County Sheriff's deputy Ross Jessop and others talked about the moments leading up to finding a child who was left in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs and what it was like to make such an unlikely rescue.

In the probable cause affidavit, prosecutors said Crowley had originally said he would take the officers to the baby's location.

He told investigators that he left the baby in the woods because the baby was heavy, the AP reported, citing court documents.

"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 baby is now in good condition. OR officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said.

Eventually, they spotted Crowley's crashed vehicle, but the baby was not inside, court records said. They followed a trail of items that included baby formula and a diaper bag before hearing the child. Crowley was under post-prison supervision for several counts of burglary and one count of criminal mischief.

"I heard the sticks crack when I looked down I saw the baby face-down", Jessop said.

I wrote about this story yesterday but there were a few developments since then, including video of the deputies who found the baby buried in the woods after midnight and an explanation of sorts from the man who left the baby there.

"To experience this, to have God help me, let me experience something like this, just gives me an extra boost", Jessop said.

But what ultimately took them to the right spot was a sound - the faint cry of a baby.

Custody of the child has been referred to the state Division of Child and Family Services.

Of course, you don't have to believe this was an actual miracle to be happy about it, but kudos to CBS for airing this in the way that the people involved actually experienced it, rather than running it through the media's secular filter.

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