An Infant Who Was Buried In The Woods Was Found Alive After 9 Hours

"This is what we call a miracle," the local sheriff's office said.

Officials in Montana say it's a "miracle" that a 5-month-old baby survived what is believed to be at least nine hours in a cold forest buried under leaves and sticks.

Officials searched for six hours before a deputy heard a faint cry and uncovered the buried boy, according to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, which posted about the incident on Facebook.

The baby boy is now in good condition, according to the sheriff's office.

The search for the baby kicked off in earnest on Sunday when the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a man "acting strange" and "threatening people" at around 8 p.m.

Officials arrested 32-year-old Francis Carlton Crowley, who they said "appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers." He did, however, indicate that a baby who had been left in his care "was possibly buried somewhere in the mountains," according to the sheriff's office.

A search and rescue team that included members from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Montana Highway Patrol was quickly assembled. The crew combed the area into the night as temperatures dropped to 46 degrees. At around 2 a.m., the deputy heard the faint cry.

"He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris," the sheriff's office said.

The 5-month-old, who was only wearing a onesie that was wet and soiled, is now being cared for at a local hospital.

Crowley, who was charged with criminal endangerment, with additional charges expected, remains in custody.

It's not clear what the relationship between him and the baby is.

"For all of us at the sheriff's office, this is what we call a miracle," the department 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."

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