Man arrested after leaving baby alone in Montana woods for hours

Posted at 9:38 AM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 11:38:47-04

A 32-year-old man in Montana was arrested this past weekend after leaving a five-month-old baby alone in the woods for what ended up being nine hours.

According to our partner station, KPAX in Montana, the incident began when Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene of a man acting strangely in the Lolo Hot Springs area of Montana. When deputies arrived at the scene, they learned a five-month-old baby that had been in the care of the suspect, had not been seen in several hours.

Deputies arrested the suspect, Francis Carlton Crowley, and said it appeared he was under the influence of drugs and was not making sense.

According to law enforcement, Crowley made statements that indicated the baby was possibly buried somewhere in the mountains. Upon learning this information, a ground search was initiated by multiple law enforcement agencies in the area.

After more than six hours of searching, a deputy on foot hear the faint cry of a baby. The deputy followed the sound and located the baby alive, but buried face down under a pile of sticks and debris. The baby was wearing only a soiled onesie.

The baby was found at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Based on the timeline, authorities said the baby was out in the approximately 46-degree-weather for at least nine hours. The baby was transported to a local hospital and treated for dehydration, lack of food, scratches and cuts. The child was placed in custody of Montana Child and Family Services.


Crowley would later admit to authorities that he left the baby after growing tired of carrying him.

Crowley has a prior record and was a fugitive out of Oregon, where he is from. He was under post-prison supervision for several counts of burglary and one count of criminal mischief. He is being held on a $200,000 bond and faces charges of assault on a minor and criminal endangerment. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 25th.