A 3-year-old boy who was found in the woods stuck in briars several days after he vanished from his great-grandmother’s North Carolina yard told his family he “hung out with a bear for two days” during the ordeal.
Casey Hathaway disappeared Tuesday afternoon after he had been playing outside with some relatives at his great-grandmother’s house and never came back inside. Investigators immediately launched a massive search effort for the boy through “tough” wooded terrain surrounding the property.
He was found Thursday night stuck in some briars and calling for his mother. Despite being out alone in the elements—it's estimated temperatures dipped below freezing for more than six hours Tuesday night—his family says Casey is now doing well.
“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. God is good,” his aunt Breanna Hathaway wrote on Facebook, according to Fox News. “Miracles do happen.”
Hathaway was discovered about a mile away from where he disappeared after a neighbor walking her dog heard a child crying in the woods, WITN reports. Searchers later found him in the woods and transported him to Carolina East Medical Center.
He spent Friday in the hospital watching “Paw Patrol” and munching on chicken nuggets and Cheetos. He was released from the hospital on Saturday, according to WITN, and looked healthy.
His great-grandmother spoke to WTVD after the recovery and said the family is grateful he was found alive.
“Only God could have saved that boy out there in that cold and rain,” she said.
[Photo: Craven County Sheriff’s Office]
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