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Man abandons baby in mountain woods because he “was very heavy”

by | Jul 20, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Last week we reported on the miraculous survival of a 5 month old baby boy abandoned in a remote mountain area in Montana. It was believed the baby, found buried under a pile of sticks in a wet and soiled onesie, had been in the area for at least nine hours in 46 degree temperatures.

Here’s how CNN described what happened

A sheriff’s deputy who found a baby partially buried but alive in the mountains of Montana over the weekend says he lost his composure when he found the infant — and had just been on the verge of giving up hope the boy could be rescued.

Ross Jessop, a Missoula County sheriff’s deputy, was scouring a wooded area in the western part of the state for the 5-month-old boy with other officers early Sunday, after a man told deputies the baby might be buried there.

The outstanding questions were who had left the baby and why.

The suspect, Francis Carlton Crowley, since charged with assault on a minor and criminal endangerment, was picked up early.

Crowley was creating a disturbance and threatening to fire a gun, Missoula County prosecutors said. “Officers learned he and the baby had been in a crash earlier that day,” the Associated Press reported.

“Crowley was disoriented, likely because of drug use, and unable to help officers find the baby or say how long ago the crash had occurred, charging documents said.”

According to court records, “Officers continued to search in the various areas where the defendant stated the baby was located, but they had difficulty given the defendant’s numerous inconsistent statements about the baby’s whereabouts.” Crowley alternatively said “the baby was lying on the side of the road or had died and was buried in the woods.”

So why did Crowley abandon the baby? According to court records, he left the baby after the car crash “because the baby was very heavy.”

With so little to go on, the odds of finding the baby at all, let alone alive, were slim to none. Jessop, joined by U.S. Forest Service Officer Nick Scholz, followed a forest road on which Crowley said he had traveled.

They eventually found the car, according to the AP, but no baby.

“Officers followed a trail of personal items, including baby formula and a diaper bag, down the slope from the crash,” the AP reported. “Jessop and Scholz then searched up slope from the crash, following a game trail until they heard a faint noise about 2:30 a.m.”

They rushed the baby to the hospital where he “was treated for dehydration, lack of food and scratches, cuts and bruises and was placed in the custody of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.”

“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “For the officers who were present for this event, it’s especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours.”

Jessop explained the rush of emotions he felt.

“I was so overcome with emotion that my cop instincts and my cop training … went away,” Jessop said. “I just wrapped that baby up just like a father would any child in need.”

“I have three kids myself, and I think without a question that hearing that little baby the other night brought to me more joy than even my own children coming into this world,” he said.

Categories: Crime