Authorities are calling a five-month-old baby who survived being buried alive in a Montana forest a “miracle.”
The little boy was buried under a pile of sticks and debris, face down, wearing only a wet soiled onesie when he was found at 2:30 a.m.
Despite being buried for at least nine hours, the infant is in good condition at a hospital, according to a statement by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office launched a search for the baby at the national forest at 8:00 p.m. after responding to calls about a man threatening people and acting strange, reports NBC News.
“When trying to question [Francis Carlton] Crowley, he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers,” authorities said, adding that Crowley “indicated the baby was possibly buried somewhere in the mountains.”
After six hours of searching on foot a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby.
“For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle,” officials said in a Facebook post featuring a photo of the baby with dirt under his tiny fingernails. “For the officers who were present for this event, it’s especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours.”
Crowley, 32, who was supposed to be taking care of the baby, was arrested for criminal endangerment. His relationship to the child is still unknown, as is the identity of the boy’s mother.