Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Man says he left baby in Montana woods because tot was heavy

Francis Crowley Modal Trigger Francis Crowley AP
Jeannette Daniel | 12 July, 2018, 22:14

"Walking in to this situation, you were mentally prepared for the worst".

And so authorities began scouring on their own, Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"He suffered some minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health", sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said in a statement Monday.

Crowley told officers that he left the baby behind because he was "too heavy", NBC reports.

CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reports Crowley - who is is from Portland, Oregon - was arrested in Wasco County in 2013 and 2017.

He doubled over and fell to the floor while repeatedly saying he loved the boy and begged for the child not to be taken away.

There was a lot of emotion in the room Tuesday as Missoula County Sheriff's deputy Ross Jessop and others talked about the moments leading up to finding a child who was left in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs and what it was like to make such an unlikely rescue. He was subsequently released after OR officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said.

By around 2 a.m. Sunday, the officers had been searching for the baby for more than six hours in the cold night in Missoula County.

Crowley did not enter a plea during the court hearing.

More news: Supreme Court nominations made, Trump may have none to go

The baby's relationship to Crowley, who was being held in jail with bail set at $200,000, was not immediately clear.

Deputies were called to Lolo Hot Springs at 8pm on Saturday because Crowley was creating a disturbance and threatening to fire a gun, Missoula County prosecutors said.

In the probable cause affidavit, prosecutors said Crowley had originally said he would take the officers to the baby's location. Of course, we all know that the real reason Crowley wrecked his auto and then left the 5-month-old baby to die in the woods is because he is a drug addict. He called for a four-wheel drive vehicle and he and Scholz found the wreck beyond the road's end.

Officers followed a trail of personal items, including baby formula and a diaper bag, down the slope from the crash.

Doctors treated the baby for dehydration, lack of food and scratches, cuts and bruises, The Associated Press reported.

One the way, the baby coughed up small sticks, the charging document said. The baby was placed in the custody of the Montana Child and Family Services Division.

Jessop, who has three daughters, said his paternal instincts kicked in when he saw the child.

Once deputies were able to track down and question the man-who appeared to be under the influence of drugs-he revealed to authorities that the five-month-old had possibly been buried in the mountains.

"To experience this, to have God help me, let me experience something like this, just gives me an extra boost", Jessop said.

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