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Miracle Baby! Infant Survives Nine Hours Buried in Montana Woods
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 6 years ago on
July 9, 2018

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MISSOULA, Mont. — A 5-month-old infant who miraculously survived more than nine hours being 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.

“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.” — Missoula County Sheriff’s Office statement
Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies were called about 8 p.m. 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.

Searchers Heard Baby’s Cry

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 a.m. Sunday.
He found the baby face-down under the pile of sticks and debris, dressed only in a wet and soiled onesie in the 46-degree (8-degree Celsius) 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. Spokesman Chuck Council declined to answer any questions about where the child will be placed or how the baby will be cared for, citing medical privacy.

Man Arrested for Criminal Endangerment

Francis Crowley, 32, 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.
“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.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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