Man accused of abandoning 5-month-old baby in woods pleads not guilty

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 20:30:54-04

MISSOULA – The Oregon man who is accused of leaving a child in the woods near Lolo Hot Springs pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing on Tuesday morning.

Francis Crowley is facing one count of assault on a minor and one count of criminal endangerment in connection with the incident. Both of the charges could bring 10-year penalties and up to $50,000 in fines.

The charges stem from an incident on July 7th involving Crowley, who allegedly crashed a car into the woods with a child in the vehicle. Crowley walked away from the crash with the child but eventually left the five-month-old in the woods because he grew tired of carrying it.

Court documents state that Crowley admitted to officers that he was high on meth and bath salts at the time of the crash. The baby was found after spending several hours alone in the woods west of Lolo.

Crowley’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 11th.

RELATED: Specialist: Infant’s survival in woods near Lolo is an extraordinary case

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News