Police in Montana arrested a man who was reportedly watching a 5-month-old boy that officers would find buried alive under a pile of sticks and debris.
In a press release, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to the Lolo Hot Springs area at 8 p.m. Sunday following reports of a man acting strangely. While en route, witnesses informed police that the man was acting aggressive, claiming that he had a gun and repeatedly digging into his pockets.
The suspect, Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, wasn’t there when deputies arrived. Deputies ultimately learned that an infant boy in Crowley’s care hadn’t been seen for several hours. According to FOX, Crowley is the boyfriend of the infant’s mother.
Crowley was taken into custody after a 911 caller said he returned to the Hot Springs. Police said he appeared to have been under the influence as he explained that the baby was possibly buried someplace in the mountains.
The alarming admission led local police to join forces with Missoula County Search and Rescue, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Montana Highway Patrol to conduct a ground search that lasted approximately six hours.
Police wrote that a “faint cry” led a deputy to the 5-month-old, who was lying face down under a heap of sticks and rubble. The infant was only wearing a “wet and solid” onesie as he endured 46-degree temperatures for at least nine hours, according to police. The baby boy is reportedly in good condition following Sunday’s ordeal.
Meanwhile, police have charged Crowley with criminal endangerment and said additional charges are forthcoming.
“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle. 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.
“Sheriff McDermott would like to thank those who assisted in the search and those who called 911, helping first responders bring this baby to safety.”
[Featured Image: Missoula County Sheriff’s Office]