OR fugitive charged for burying baby alive near Missoula

10 July, 2018, 11:09 | Author: Wade Massey
  • 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

Police finally tracked down Crowley thanks to another caller's tip, and though officers say he appeared to be on drugs and was almost incoherent, he managed to convey that the baby was "somewhere in the mountains", per the Washington Post.

According to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, the desperate search for the baby unfolded after deputies received reports at about 8 p.m. Saturday about a man acting strangely near Lolo Hot Springs, about 35 miles outside of Missoula, Montana. More calls came in to dispatch and said the man was threatening people, claiming to have a gun and kept reaching into his pockets.

Crowley was taken into custody after a 911 caller said he returned to the Hot Springs. A ground search ensued and lasted for 6 hours before a deputy heard a faint cry.

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.

The infant was in good condition at a hospital after being left alone for "several hours", the Missoula County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Crowley is being held at the Missoula County Detention Facility on charges of criminal endangerment with additional charges to follow.

That began a multi-agency search-and-rescue effort, helped by Missoula County Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Missoula County deputies.

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Searchers followed the sound and found the infant alive, buried facedown beneath a pile of sticks and debris.

'For all of us at the sheriffs [sic] office, this is what we call a miracle, ' the sheriff's office wrote in the press release.

Missoula County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett told MTN News that the boy has minor scrapes and bruises after spending nine hours in the wilderness.

It wasn't clear what Crowley's relationship is to the child or who the boy's mother is. They think the baby was in the cold for about 9 hours.

Prior to the Saturday incident, the Missoula County Attorneys' Office says Crowley was already wanted in the state of OR for criminal mischief and felony burglary, and he had fled OR for Montana.

The infant, who was not identified, had been left in the 46-degree weather for at least nine hours, according to the sheriff's office. Crowley was under post-prison supervision for several counts of burglary and one count of criminal mischief.

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