'Miracle' baby incredibly survives after being buried in the woods for more than nine hours
However protected we feel in the modern world, the fact is that our bodies are still very vulnerable to the elements. Most of us aren't used to being out in the middle of nowhere, completely cut off from contact with other people, so we know that if anything happened we could be easily helped by friends, family, emergency services or even strangers.
Yet there are some instances in which humans push through, surviving despite near impossible odds. It's impressive enough when adults make it through times of hardship relatively unscathed, but it's a miracle when it happens to someone during their most vulnerable state: infancy.
In western Montana recently, a five-month-old baby was found trapped under a pile of firewood and debris in the woods, somehow surviving being trapped for over nine hours. The infant only suffered minor injuries, despite being found in soaking wet clothes in cold temperatures, according to authorities on Monday.
The baby was found face-down in temperatures of just 8 °C (46 °F), with police saying it was a "miracle" that he has now made it to a stable condition. One man has been charged with criminal endangerment, after telling the police what had happened. Francis Crowley, 32, from Portland, Oregon, is being held on $50,000 bail following the incident.
Missoula County Sheriff police were called to Lolo Hot Springs in the Lolo National Forest at 8pm on Saturday, after they received reports that a man was threatening others in the area. Deputies detained the man, at which point he explained that there was a baby buried somewhere in the woods.
The MCSO, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Highway Patrol teamed up to search the forest for the following six hours before the baby was found at around 2:30 am on Sunday.
"After more than six hours of searching on foot, a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby," the MCSO said. "He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris."
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Brenda Bassett explained in a statement on Monday, "He suffered some minor scrapes and bruising but overall is in good health". The child was taken to hospital, after which he was put into the custody of the state Division of Child and Family Services. The sheriff's office said:
"For all of us at the sheriff’s office, this is what we call a miracle. For the officers who were present for this event, it’s especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours."
The DCFS refused to answer any further questions about the child and his future, due to medical privacy laws. It is currently unknown what relationship was between Crowley and the child, and what series of events led to the infant's brush with death. Thankfully, he survived what should have been a fatal incident.