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5-Month-Old Baby Found in Forest After Being Buried Alive for 7 Hours

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Over the past decade, my wife and I have raised three children, and I’ve been fascinated with the ways they change down the years. From crawling to toddling to rambunctious running, I’ve loved watching them grow.

But you know what my favorite stage for my kiddos has been? Around six months of age after they grow out of the newborn’s desperate smallness, they are all fat little knees and grasping fingers and wide-eyed wonder.

I remember, though, how weak and frail they were, how simultaneously beautiful and fragile. That’s why I was shocked to hear the recent reports out of Missoula, Montana.

The story started on July 7 with a call to the police at around 8 p.m. Bystanders had contacted the authorities when a strangely acting man had appeared in the Lolo Hot Springs area.

The situation only got worse from there. The man’s name was Francis Carlton Crowley, and he began telling people that he had a gun.

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That was disturbing. Yet when the authorities finally arrived on the scene, Crowley had vanished and the police learned something even more disturbing.


See, Crowley was supposed to be taking care of his 5-month-old baby and no one had seen the child in some time. After some intense searching and a tip from a 911 caller, police finally found Crowley.

However, the man was obviously under the influence of drugs and offered barely intelligible answers when questioned. Still, officers gathered from his statements that the baby had been buried up in the mountains.

I can hardly imagine how grim that search must have been. Night had fallen, and the mercury had started to plunge.

United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Montana Highway Patrol quickly joined forces and started a search, probably anticipating the worst. After all, Crowley hadn’t said that he’d left the infant alive.

Yet around 2:30 a.m. on July 8, an officer caught a faint, familiar sound during the multi-hour search. I bet that it flooded his heart with relief.

“After more than six hours of searching on foot, a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby,” an official statement said. “He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris.”


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The child had been left alone for at least seven hours. It was 46 degrees Fahrenheit when the baby was found.

Authorities whisked the infant away to the hospital. Currently, the child is in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

For his part, Crowley was arrested. He’s being held on a $50,000 bond.

“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle,” the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “For the officers who were present for this event, it’s especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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