Man arrested after burying five-month-old baby alive in the forest

The baby was found alive [Photo: Courtesy]

A baby who was buried alive in remote woodland for nine hours was found alive after a 'miracle' rescue operation.

The five month old was discovered face down in a soiled baby grow under piles of sticks and debris.

Authorities described the discovery of the baby in Missoula County, America, as a "miracle".

Police were initially called at 8pm on Saturday to reports of a man was acting suspiciously and making threats with a gun in the Lolo Hot Springs area.

As officers arrived at the scene, a 32-year-old called Francis Carlton Crowley had left the area, with reports he had previously been seen with a small baby who had now vanished.

Crowley was later tracked down before he admitted burying the baby somewhere in the woods.

A desperate search for the infant was immediately launched by police, members of the Missoula County Search and Rescue team, Highway Patrol and the United States Forest Service.

After an agonising six hours searching the woods, an officer reported hearing the faint cries of a child before discovering the buried infant at 2.30am.

A police statement posted on Facebook said the child had been "in the woods unattended and in the cold for a minimum of nine hours."

The child was taken to a local hospital with minor scrapes and bruises, but is said to be in good condition.

A statement from police added: "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.

"Sheriff McDermott would like to thank those who assisted in the search and those who called 911, helping first responders bring this baby to safety."

Crowley was arrested and is being held at Missoula County Detention Facility.

He faces felony charges and is due to make his first court appearance in the next 24 hours.


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