Baby Survives Nine Hours Buried In Woods

The five-month-old survived nine hours in freezing temperatures in what police say is a miracle.

What you need to know
  • A 32 year old man was apprehended and told police a baby was buried in the woods
  • The five month old baby boy was found face down under a pile of debris
  • The baby boy is said to be in good health and is with the state Division of Child and Family Services

A five-month-old infant who miraculously survived more than nine hours 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 Monday.

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

Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies were called about 8pm 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 Missoula County Sheriff’s Office says the baby is in good condition at a hospital and calls it a “miracle” that the child survived the weekend ordeal. Image: AP

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 am Sunday.

He found the baby face-down under the pile of sticks and debris, dressed only in a wet and soiled onesie in the cold 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, whose spokesman, Chuck Council, did not immediately return a call for comment on Monday.

Lolo National Forest, Montana.

Francis Crowley, 32, was being held on $50,000 USD bail on a charge of criminal endangerment. Additional charges will follow, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Sunday.

“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle,” the statement said. “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 nature of Crowley’s relationship to the baby was not immediately clear. There was no information on whether Crowley had an attorney.