July 10 (UPI) -- A 5-month-old baby survived after being buried for nine hours in the Montana woods, law enforcement officials said Sunday.
The ordeal began when people in the Lolo Hot Springs area near Missoula called authorities Saturday on 32-year-old Francis Carlton Crowley, who they said was "acting strange," had made threats and said he had a gun. When deputies arrived, they learned Crowley was in charge of a 5-month-old boy who hadn't been seen for hours.
Authorities said Crowley appeared to be on drugs and made little sense, but he indicated the baby was buried somewhere in the mountains. That set off a rescue mission involving the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Highway Patrol
"After more than six hours of searching on foot, a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby," the sheriff's office said. "He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris."
The child was clothed only in a wet and soiled onesie in 46 degree weather for at least nine hours, officials said. He was hospitalized, but is in good condition.
Crowley faces charges of criminal endangerment, but additional charges are expected.
"For all of us at the sheriff's office, this is what we call a miracle," the MCSO said in a statement.