Baby released from hospital after being found in woods near Lolo Hot Springs

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 19:05:41-04

MISSOULA – The baby that was left alone in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs has been released from the hospital.

The child remains in protective custody and an investigation into what happened on July 7 is still ongoing.

Missoula County Sheriff’s detectives are still conducting interviews and gathering evidence for the case against Francis Crowley, who is being charged with abandoning the five-month-old in the woods after crashing his car into a tree.

The mother of the child is not facing criminal charges at this time and any charges made against her will come from the ongoing investigation. 

"Well at this point the criminal investigation is ongoing I would invite all the members of the media to just keep in contact with the county attorney’s office for any updates," said Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott. "Obviously there’s an appearance later this afternoon and as well as any updates on the case I would check with the County Attorney’s Office."

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Public Information Officer Chuck Council told KPAX on Wednesday that due to confidentiality and medical privacy, they are unable to respond to specific question about this case.

"However, when the department receives a call to the Child Abuse Hotline, we respond and investigate accordingly," Council said. 

He says the department is grateful to the concerned citizens and team who helped find the infant.

U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Nick Scholz, who was with Deputy Ross Jessop when they found the baby, said he was familiar with the suspects in the case. He said he had been dealing with them the past couple months camped up in the woods. 

If you see or suspect child abuse or neglect call the Child Abuse Hotline at 866-820-KIDS.