I wrote about this story yesterday but there were a few developments since then, including video of the deputies who found the baby buried in the woods after midnight and an explanation of sorts from the man who left the baby there. Francis Carlton Crowley told investigators the baby was “very heavy.” From NBC News:
From his jail cell, Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, appeared via videoconference in Missoula County Justice Court on Tuesday on charges of assault on a minor and criminal endangerment, according to the Associated Press.
As the judge and prosecutor read the allegations, Crowley doubled over and fell to the floor, the AP reported. He twice exclaimed that he loves the boy and pleaded with the judge not to take him away.
Crowley did not enter a plea. His relationship to the child — and the identity of the boy’s mother — were still not clear.
He told investigators he had been in a car crash and left the baby behind because the child was “very heavy,” prosecutors said in an affidavit obtained by NBC News.
Crowley was apparently in a car crash and investigators found a trail of baby items leading away from the car. When police first interviewed him, Crowley gave various statements, including some claiming the baby had died. Of course, we all know that the real reason Crowley wrecked his car and then left the 5-month-old baby to die in the woods is because he is a drug addict. The Associated Press adds this detail:
The baby was taken via ambulance to the hospital. On the way, the baby coughed up small sticks, the charging document said. He was treated for dehydration, lack of food and scratches, cuts and bruises and was placed in the custody of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Crowley, who acknowledged using methamphetamine and bath salts, was jailed, with his bail set at $50,000.
If you’ve read any of the horror stories about bath salts, we’re probably lucky he didn’t try to eat the baby. For some reason that I don’t understand, the media is not publishing the name of the child’s mother. Is it possible she was unaware her babysitter was a drug addict? I sort of doubt it. The child is now in the custody of child protective services and, at least for the time being, is being cared for by some adults who aren’t drug addicts.
One more side-note on this story. The Sheriff’s Office described finding the baby as a “miracle” which made me wonder if there wasn’t some religious subtext to this story that wasn’t being covered by most of the media. Nearly all of the stories and video clips about this have been secularized. But this one report from CBS This Morning lets the Deputy who found the child talk and doesn’t edit him for religious content. “I saw this little tiny child. My father instincts kicked in and I picked him up, scooped him up,” Deputy Jessop said. He continued, “We swallowed him in a down coat. I gave him kisses on the forehead and I just—I looked at him and I couldn’t thank the Lord Jesus enough. I was just so happy.” Later on Jessop adds, “It was almost like he was waiting for us to find him.”
Of course, you don’t have to believe this was an actual miracle to be happy about it, but kudos to CBS for airing this in the way that the people involved actually experienced it, rather than running it through the media’s secular filter. Here’s the interview with Deputy Jessop: