EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Casey Hathaway, a 3-year-old boy who was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon, was found alive in Craven County on Thursday night.
The Craven County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page that Hathaway was found by professional search and rescue crews on Aurora Road near Toler Road in Craven County. During a news conference, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said he was found a little over a quarter of a mile away from where he was reported missing.
Shane Grier, the man credited with finding Casey, said searchers responding to a tip heard the boy calling for his mother. Grier found him around 50 yards into the woods, entangled in briars.
Hughes believes Casey had moved around before ending up where he was found, not far from the house from which he went missing Tuesday. Authorities had been concerned that Casey wasn’t adequately dressed for the cold temperatures.
Hathaway is in good health, talking and being evaluated at CarolinaEast Health System. A spokesperson for the hospital said Friday morning the toddler is in good condition. Hathaway is with his family, who is asking for privacy as he recovers. No additional updates will be provided unless something changes.
“He was still in his coat. It was zipped up," Hughes said. "He’s cut up a little bit, scrapes, stuff like that. But in very good spirits, very happy. And like I said what was really special was when he saw his little sister and smiles. It was a very touching moment.”
Hathaway’s parents thanked the volunteers who helped looked for him over the last couple of days,
“We just want to tell everybody that we are very thankful that you took the time out to come search for Casey and prayed for him," his mother said Thursday night. “He’s good, he’s up and talking, and he’s already asked to watch Netflix so he’s good.”
Hathaway had last been seen around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday in Craven County. He was outside a home with two other young children and his great grandmother was inside the home at the time.
Hughes said 220 acres were searched on Thursday. He said there was no sign that Hathaway had possibly been abducted.
“At no time did we see any indication of an abduction,” Hughes said. “That’s why an Amber Alert was not put out. There were no signs of abduction. Believe me, if there had been the slightest we would have."
We will continue to update this story as more details are made available.