Casey Hathaway, 3, Found Alive 2 Days After He Vanished from His Family's Yard in North Carolina
The 3-year-old was discovered on Thursday night after going missing for two days.
Casey Hathaway, the 3-year-old boy who went missing earlier this week from his grandmother’s yard in North Carolina, has been found alive.
Hathaway was found on Thursday night by a professional search and rescue team in Craven County, Shelley Lynch, a spokesperson for the FBI Charlotte field office, said in a news release.
The toddler was reportedly in good health but was being treated at Carolina East Medical Center, and has since reunited with his family, Lynch explained.
Breanna Hathaway, who identified herself in a Facebook post as Hathaway’s aunt, also confirmed the discovery of her nephew on the social media site.
“Casey is healthy, smiling, and talking. He said he hung out with a bear for two days God sent him a friend to keep him safe,” she wrote. “God is good God. Miracles do happen”
At this time, there are no other details available regarding Hathaway’s disappearance.
On Tuesday, the little boy was playing outside the house in Craven County, North Carolina, with two other children, but he “did not come back inside with them,” Lynch told PEOPLE in a statement.
“A relative in the home searched for Casey and when they were unable to find him, called 911,” Lynch continued. WTVD reported that Hathaway and the other children had been playing in his grandmother’s backyard.
The grandmother and others looked for Hathaway for 45 minutes before reporting him missing, according to WTVD.
Despite strong winds and heavy rain, search teams and concerned community members were tirelessly combing the woods in the area since Hathaway disappeared, hoping to find the boy.
“We went through the woods – through the thicket and the briars,” volunteer Donna Harris told WTVD. “We did it for three-and-a-half, four hours and it was bad. It was really bad out there. If everybody could come and help look for him, it would help. As it got darker, it was scary out there. I just can’t imagine a 3-year-old being out there.”
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said during a Wednesday news conference that the situation was being treated as a missing person’s case, though they have not ruled out the possibility of kidnapping.
Hughes added that the little boy wasn’t dressed properly for the weather and he was concerned about ditches and sinkholes in the area. He noted that divers are searching ponds in the area.