Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Baby found alive buried under debris in woods

Published:Tuesday | July 10, 2018 | 3:47 PM
This Sunday, July 8, 2018 photo provided by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office shows a 5-month-old infant with dirt under their fingernails after authorities say the baby survived about nine hours being buried under sticks and debris in the woods. (Missoula County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

MISSOULA, Montana. (AP) — A 5-month-old infant who miraculously survived more than nine hours being buried under a pile of sticks and debris in the woods of western Montana suffered only minor injuries despite wearing wet and soiled clothes in cold weather, authorities said.

The baby boy is otherwise in good condition, authorities said.

Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies were called about 8 p.m. Saturday about a man threatening people in the Lolo Hot Springs area of the Lolo National Forest.

Deputies apprehended the man, who indicated that a baby was buried somewhere in the woods.

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 at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

He found the baby face-down under the pile of sticks and debris, dressed only in a wet and soiled onesie in the 8 degree Celsius weather.

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

The baby was taken to a hospital.

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

Spokesman Chuck Council declined to answer any questions about where the child will be placed or how the baby will be cared for, citing medical privacy.

Francis Crowley, 32, 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.

We want to hear from you! Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-449-0169, email us at editors@gleanerjm.com or onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com.