Montana man says he left baby because infant was heavy

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

The baby boy is otherwise in good condition, authorities said. "A baby was found. alive".

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office received reports of a man "acting strange" in the Lolo Hot Springs area at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday night. Deputies detained the man, at which point he explained that there was a baby buried somewhere in the woods.

Eventually, they spotted Crowley's crashed auto, but the baby was not inside, the officers said.

Jessop then called for a search and rescue team to scour the area for the vehicle Crowley was allegedly driving, he said. I gave him kisses on the forehead and I just-I looked at him and I couldn't thank the Lord Jesus enough.

Officers followed a trail of personal items, including baby formula and a diaper bag, down the slope from the crash. Later on Jessop adds, "It was nearly like he was waiting for us to find him".

But, the baby was nowhere to be found.

Officers who found a 5-month-old baby in the woods following a weekend auto crash spoke Tuesday about how they came to find the baby, who was believed to have been in the woods for more than nine hours, after expecting the worst. They discovered the baby in a heavily wooded area on private property, at about 2:30 a.m.

As soon as they heard the noise, Jessop and Scholz started running toward it.

Amid the silence, they heard faint cries and following the sound.

The child was "so well concealed" under loose sticks and branches that Jessop was "about ready to walk on the baby's head", he said.

The infant was clothed only in a wet and soiled onesie, the statement said.

"The only thing I can say about this whole thing: It was a miracle", Jessop said. "I had prepared myself mentally to find a dead baby, if at all, and seeing and hearing that baby overcame me with so much joy". Shortly after they arrived on the scene, however, they discovered no one had seen the baby he had been in charge of for several hours.

The baby was taken via ambulance to the hospital.

The state Division of Child and Family Services is now looking after the baby. Detectives are continuing their investigation. His relationship to the child - and the identity of the boy's mother - were still not clear. Francis Carlton Crowley told investigators the baby was "very heavy".

Crowley has been charged with criminal endangerment and assault on a minor and is being held in a Missoula County jail on $100,000 bond, jail records show.

The man allegedly later confessed to police that he was in fact using methamphetamine and bath salts, according to The Missoulian.

He told investigators he had been in a auto crash and left the baby behind because the child was "very heavy", prosecutors said in an affidavit obtained by NBC News.

It was not clear if Crowley has been assigned an attorney as of Monday, according to the Missoula County attorney's office. He was released after authorities in OR declined to extradite him, according to the AP.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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