Late Saturday night, police in western Montana received calls about a 32-year-old man who was acting strange and threatening people that he had a gun. When police arrived on the scene, the man was gone and police learned that a five-month-old boy left in the man's care was also missing.
A short time later, police received a new tip from a 911 caller who had spotted the man and they quickly apprehended him. The man was incoherent, apparently under the influence of drugs. Police tried to question him about the missing baby boy, but the man only made vague statements that the baby was possibly buried somewhere in the mountains.
A search and rescue team was quickly assembled and officers scoured the remote woods in the dark for the next six hours.
Around 2:30 AM, Deputy Ross Jessup heard a "whimper." He and another officer followed the sound to a pile of sticks and debris, which they pulled aside to find the baby boy, buried face down under the pile. The baby was shivering, clothed only in a onesie that was wet and soiled. The boy had survived, alone for at least nine hours in the 46-degree night air. Jessup said the baby was alert, but exhausted and unable to cry anymore.
On the way to the hospital, the baby coughed up small sticks. He was treated for dehydration, minor scrapes and bruises, and he's currently in good condition.
The man who left him in the woods is being held on multiple charges.
This is what we call a miracle.
Yesterday, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page:
"This is what we call a miracle… Law enforcement officers can have a dreary outlook on life at times. Calls come in and you see people at their absolute worst day after day. But over the weekend, out of so much darkness came a little light. A baby was found – alive… It's easy to look at the world as a dark place, but we have seen so many people come together for one single reason – humanity. Thank you to those who have reached out, sent prayers to this little baby… It matters. Thank you."
In a week dominated by so much media angst over abortion rights, it's nice to be reminded that in many corners of America, people still understand that life is worth preserving.