Little new information is available on the infant who was rescued by law enforcement officials early Sunday morning after the 5-month-old boy was found buried face-down under a loose pile of sticks in the mountains south of Missoula.
The child has been released from the hospital and is in protective custody while the boy’s case is being handled by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The state agency notes that it is “somewhat constrained” as to what it can say about the baby’s situation due to medical privacy concerns.
But in a statement, the department notes that when it receives a call to the Child Abuse Hotline, “we respond and investigate accordingly. The department is grateful to the concerned citizens and team who helped find this baby.”
When discovered in the dirt about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, the infant was clad only in a wet and soiled onesie as temperatures dipped into the 40s. The child had been missing for about nine hours.
Francis “Frank” Crowley, the man suspected of leaving the infant near a remote game trail, remains jailed in lieu of a $200,000 bond. Crowley, 32, faces felony charges of assault on a minor younger than 36 months and criminal endangerment.
He told officials he crashed the vehicle in which he and the infant were riding but later was unable to take them to the crash site due to allegedly being under the influence of drugs.
Officials aren’t releasing Crowley’s relationship to the infant’s mother, who is a bartender at Lolo Hot Springs. In an interview with KECI, the mother said Crowley was babysitting the infant while she worked.
Deputy County Attorney Brittany Williams said she is working with County Attorney Kristin Pabst on the case. No one else faces charges at this time, but the investigation into the incident continues.