MISSOULA – We’re learning new information about the case of a five-month-old baby who was found partially buried in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs last July as the man accused of doing it gears up for trial.
Francis Crowley, 32, faces felony assault on a minor and felony criminal endangerment charges in connection with the incident. Court documents also identify him as the baby’s uncle.
The baby survived even after he spent hours face down in wet clothing and partially buried under sticks and debris in the woods.
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Authorities say the child was in Crowley’s care at the time while he and the child’s mother camped in the area and when others noticed the child was gone, they called the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies report that Crowley was unable to tell them what happened to the baby boy. Following an extensive search, the child was found in the woods and rushed him to the hospital where he was found to be in good condition.
Crowley’s defense team filed a motion this week to suppress evidence in the case which includes any statements made to authorities that night.
The motion claims deputies did not read Crowley his rights before they started questioning him about the baby’s whereabouts and since there is no way to determine exactly when that happened, all statements made to authorities much be ruled out.
The judge will have to consider the request before the start of the Crowley’s trial.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News