Man says he left 5-month-old in Montana woods because 'baby was very heavy'
(Fox News/Associated Press) -- Prosecutors say a man told investigators he left a 5-month-old baby boy in the Montana woods after a car crash because the baby was very heavy.
Officers found the baby, cold and hungry, under a pile of debris and sticks early Sunday.
Francis Crowley, 32, is scheduled to appear in court in Missoula Tuesday on charges of assault on a minor and criminal endangerment.
Missoula County prosecutors say deputies were called to Lolo Hot Springs on Saturday night because Crowley was creating a disturbance. Officers learned he and the baby had been in a crash.
Charging documents say Crowley was disoriented, likely because of drug use, and unable to help officers find the baby.
Searchers followed a road Crowley said he had traveled and eventually found the car and the baby nearby.
Authorities scoured the area for more than six hours before a deputy heard a baby’s cry. “He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris,” the department said in a statement.
The baby was found at around 2:30 a.m. wearing a wet and soiled onesie in roughly 46-degree weather. The baby was rushed to a nearby hospital, authorities said.
Other than “some minor scrapes and bruising,” the infant “overall is in good health,” a sheriff's spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.
The state Division of Child and Family Services is now looking after the baby.
"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."
Crowley 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.
The 32-year-old is from Portland, Oregon, and was previously arrested in June in Missoula on a fugitive warrant from Oregon, the Missoulian reported. He was subsequently released after Oregon officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said.
The relationship status between Crowley and the baby was not immediately clear.
Copyright 2018 Fox News/Associated Press. All rights reserved.