Baby survived being buried for 9 hours

A 5-month-old boy was left partially buried in the mountains of Montana for at least nine hours before being discovered by a Missoula County sheriff's deputy.

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 3:11 AM
Updated: Jul 11, 2018 3:22 AM

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.

It is unclear whether the man is related to the child. He was arrested and is accused of two felonies.

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.

"All night long, I was preparing myself mentally to find a dead baby. ... I was angry, kind of, at the time," Jessop told HLN's Mike Galanos on Tuesday afternoon. "I was losing my faith ... that the baby was even alive."

On a whim, he said, Jessop and another officer walked uphill from where they had last seen some debris.

When they were about to crest the hill, they paused to tell other officers by radio where they were.

"And during the break in communications, we both heard the small whimpering of a child," Jessop recalled.

The officers found the infant facedown under a pile of sticks and debris, clothed only in a wet and soiled onesie, a statement from the sheriff's office said.

Jessop said he was overcome with joy.

"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.

The child has minor scrapes and bruises, but is in good condition, according to CNN affiliate KPAX. The baby was placed in the custody of the Montana Child and Family Services Division.

Jessop, at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, said when he picked up the child the baby had a sparkle in his eye. The deputy gave him a few kisses. The child was too fatigued to cry, the deputy said. The baby was cold and seemed distressed so officers draped a coat around him.

"He settled in pretty good. He was coughing a little bit, he actually coughed up a few sticks out of his mouth," Jessop said.

Man arrested, charged with criminal endangerment

The sheriff's office said it believes the baby had been there for at least nine hours.

The child had been in the care of Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, on Saturday, according to the sheriff's office statement. That night, deputies received calls reporting a man who was acting strangely in the Lolo Hot Springs area.

As deputies headed to the scene, additional calls came in saying the man was threatening people and saying he had a gun, the statement said, and was reaching in his pockets.

Crowley left the area before deputies arrived, but they learned that the baby who was supposed to be with him hadn't been seen for hours, the statement said.

Crowley returned to the hot springs and was apprehended by police, the statement said. As deputies tried to question him, Crowley appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was not making sense to officers, it said.

Crowley made statements to officers saying the baby was possibly buried in the mountains, authorities said.

Crowley has been charged with felony assault of a minor under 36 months and felony criminal endangerment, according to a probable cause affidavit. He was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, KPAX reported.

It was not clear if Crowley has been assigned an attorney as of Monday, according to the Missoula County attorney's office.

Crowley is a fugitive from Oregon, according to Dylan Arthur, executive director for the parole board in Oregon. Crowley was under post-prison supervision for several counts of burglary and one count of criminal mischief.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 446380

Reported Deaths: 5995
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin927471474
Ramsey39820736
Dakota32876338
Anoka30877363
Washington20066227
Stearns17813187
St. Louis13609241
Scott1191796
Wright11570104
Olmsted1041375
Sherburne818965
Carver692436
Clay650280
Rice604168
Kandiyohi553471
Blue Earth538933
Crow Wing481374
Otter Tail454466
Chisago450832
Benton418685
Winona387246
Douglas373466
Nobles368746
Mower363329
Goodhue345358
Polk327956
McLeod324245
Morrison311144
Beltrami309447
Lyon300636
Becker284139
Itasca284043
Isanti281641
Carlton278543
Steele27229
Pine266013
Freeborn243420
Todd231630
Nicollet223836
Brown214534
Mille Lacs213646
Le Sueur208815
Cass207323
Meeker199233
Waseca188916
Wabasha16953
Martin169326
Roseau165416
Hubbard149238
Redwood139527
Renville137139
Houston135613
Dodge13384
Chippewa130932
Cottonwood126818
Fillmore12245
Wadena119616
Rock109712
Sibley10837
Aitkin107633
Watonwan10638
Faribault104616
Pennington98815
Kanabec97418
Pipestone93923
Yellow Medicine93514
Murray8785
Jackson85210
Swift83118
Pope7375
Marshall70315
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63215
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59310
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4553
Unassigned43668
Grant4298
Norman4238
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3164
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1901
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303464

Reported Deaths: 4269
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45396448
Linn17695274
Scott15387163
Black Hawk13659236
Woodbury12953175
Johnson1204749
Dubuque11312150
Pottawattamie8942112
Dallas882171
Story863834
Webster467571
Cerro Gordo463568
Sioux453756
Clinton448861
Warren438838
Marshall425761
Buena Vista391929
Muscatine386777
Des Moines380941
Plymouth348968
Wapello341698
Jasper320458
Lee314430
Marion302152
Jones270449
Henry263430
Carroll253434
Bremer242248
Crawford228522
Boone216417
Washington214531
Benton208844
Jackson191131
Mahaska190736
Tama185857
Dickinson184226
Delaware172336
Kossuth171343
Clay166019
Wright163024
Fayette160022
Buchanan158323
Hamilton157929
Winneshiek155119
Harrison154762
Hardin154229
Cedar151819
Clayton150748
Butler146824
Page143715
Cherokee138227
Floyd138036
Mills136016
Lyon133832
Poweshiek132424
Hancock129024
Allamakee126927
Iowa123922
Calhoun12209
Grundy120226
Jefferson119524
Madison11899
Winnebago118529
Mitchell115734
Louisa114330
Cass112641
Chickasaw110612
Sac110615
Emmet110331
Appanoose109838
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102424
Franklin101618
Shelby101426
Unassigned9160
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82819
Monroe80818
Clarke7847
Pocahontas77211
Ida74030
Davis68921
Greene6887
Adair68620
Lucas6488
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5993
Taylor5919
Fremont5046
Van Buren49412
Decatur4804
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4118
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 17°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
20° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 7°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 10°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 9°
Charles City
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 10°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday's local highlights and scores

Image

John Marshall ready for 2021

Image

Is the City of Rochester paying men and women equally?

Image

LWVMN asks for "truth and consequences" for state lawmakers

Image

Sports Overtime Part 2

Image

Sports Overtime Part 1

Image

Plans for polar plunge

Image

Equal work and equal pay.

Image

Aaron's Friday Night Forecast

Image

Mega Millions jackpot soars to $750 million

Community Events