Oregon fugitive charged for burying baby alive near Missoula - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Oregon fugitive charged for burying baby alive near Missoula

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MISSOULA - A man charged with leaving a baby buried alive in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs is also a fugitive from justice in Oregon.

Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, is charged with criminal endangerment. The sheriff's office says that on Saturday evening, Crowley was behaving strangely and threatening people, and told officers that the infant in his care was buried in the mountains. Deputies found the baby after a 6-hour ground search.

Officers found the baby alive, and they say the infant was taken to a hospital and is in good condition, despite being buried upside-down under a pile of sticks for several hours. 

Prior to the Saturday incident, the Missoula County Attorneys' Office says Crowley was already wanted in the state of Oregon for criminal mischief and felony burglary, and he had fled Oregon for Montana.

These latest charges aren't Crowley's first brush with the law. The Dalles Chronicle reports that Crowley was a key witness in a 2014 murder case. He was serving time in prison on other charges when he agreed to testify that his cellmate was plotting a murder.

Crowley is being held at the Missoula County Detention Facility.

The baby suffered "minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health," and is in the care of Child and Family Services, according to the sheriff's office. They say they won't be confirming names to protect the baby's identity.

 The two officers who found the baby will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

-Reporting by Kaitlin Miller

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