Preschooler Missing 3 Days Is Found In Woods, Says He Was Hanging Out With Bear

Three-year-old Casey Hathaway slipped away from his home on Tuesday afternoon and was found Thursday night

Ernul, NC – Three-year-old Casey Hathaway, who went missing from his home on Tuesday afternoon, has been found alive on Thursday night.

He was taken to the hospital and is expected to be released by Saturday.

A hospital spokeswoman said that Hathaway was in good condition, according to WNCT.

"Little fella is happy," said Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes, according to WNCT. "Then he saw his little sister, had a big smile on his face."

Hathaway was missing for three days and was “hanging out” with a bear, according to Sheriff Hughes.

The three-year-old was found off Aurora Road by an emergency responder.

Linda Fraker was walking her dogs along Aurora Road when she thought she heard a child crying. She called 911, according to WITN.

Chocowinity EMS Captain Shane Grier was responding to a tip when he heard a boy crying for his mother, according to WNCT. Cpt. Grier followed the sound of the cry through the thick brush and to a body of water where he found Hathaway. He got Hathaway out of some briars and took him out of the woods.

"We just want to tell everybody that we're very thankful that you took the time out to come search for Casey and prayed for him, and he's good," said his mother, Brittany Hathaway, according to WNCT. "He is good, he is up and talking. He's already asked to watch Netflix so he's good. He is good."

At the time Casey went missing, his great-grandmother was inside the home while Casey and two other children were playing outside. Casey didn’t come back in the house when the other two children went inside. The family looked for Casey for about 45 minutes before calling 911.

Many law enforcement agencies and hundreds of volunteers joined the search for him. The terrain was described as treacherous and some volunteers were told to stop searching out of safety concerns, according to NPR. Some areas were flooded and had sinkholes, NPR reported.

There is no sign that he was abducted.

Comments (10)
No. 1-10
Helen Hendrickson
Helen Hendrickson

Praise the Lord he's okay

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

They are so lucky... poor little fella.

JaDen62
JaDen62

He was gone for approximately 52 hours - that is a little over 2 days - All the news are saying 3 days - that is 72 hours - That 20 hours makes a huge difference in how this outcome could have been extremely sad involving hypothermia. Tuesday afternoon to Thursday evening NOT to Friday afternoon. SO glad the outcome was great, But news outlets NEED to start being a little more pinpointed on facts . ALL News outlets! This is a huge problem we face today - facts left out, facts twisted for agenda or embellishing a story.

Nan2be
Nan2be

I'm curious about his, " hanging out with a bear.." story. If there was an instance of a bear, doubtless the thorns & thickets helped to save his life as well. The Lord has a purpose

amdguru
amdguru

So incredibly happy the little guy is home safe. Too many times these stories don't end up with this kind of good ending. Praise the lord for this outcome.

alicefae
alicefae

Great story to tell , for the rest of of his sweet, lil life. I had a nephew who did that in Colorado mountains! We still talk about it at every family reunion! He said he was going hunting! Hahahaha.... about 10 years old. He wS missing for about 3 days, then came walking in! It still amazes me that his Mom lived thru it!
So glad Casey is home safe to tell his bear story!

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

3 yrs old and 52 hrs in Ernul, NC and in (middle of winter ) weather??? How cold has that area been( especially overnight)? HOW? Its a absolute miracle the little guy is safe and unscathed. Thank you God.... and thank you Yogi and Boo Boo.

slo1942
slo1942

That sounds UN BEARABLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Branoli
Branoli

I wonder if the "bear" he thought he was hanging out with was really just a big furry dog that stayed with him and kept him warm. Probably will never know for sure.

Wvmtneerfan
Wvmtneerfan

A miracle plan n simple, GOD is good!!