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Casey Hathaway: Missing 3-year-old North Carolina boy found alive and in good health

Posted at 6:46 AM, Jan 25, 2019

Casey Lynn Hathaway, a 3-year-old boy who went missing from his great-grandmother's backyard, has been found alive in North Carolina, an FBI spokeswoman said.

Casey, who is in good health, was found Thursday night by professional search and rescue crews in Craven County, said Shelley Lynch, spokeswoman for the FBI Charlotte field office.

The boy has been reunited with his family and is being cared for by doctors at Carolina East Medical Center, Lynch added.

The hospital declined to comment.

No more details were immediately available.

Search and rescue teams from across North Carolina had been working on rugged terrain and in cold temperatures for about 48 hours hoping to find Casey.

More than 100 people, including law enforcement and professional searches, were focusing on up to 1,000 acres of heavily wooded areas on Thursday, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said. Some volunteers had to be turned away because of the difficult conditions search teams are facing.

The FBI, NCIS and dozens of volunteers initially joined the effort to find the boy, described by authorities as 25 pounds and 2 feet 4 inches tall.

Casey went missing Tuesday. He was playing with two other relatives outside his great-grandmother's home in Craven County and didn't come inside when the others did, CNN affiliate WTVD reported.

Hughes had said authorities were treating Casey's disappearance as a missing child case but asked the community to report anything "remotely suspicious."

Casey's family searched for 45 minutes before calling 911 on Tuesday, Hughes said.

"We lost my ... grandson," said Casey's great-grandmother on the call, CNN affiliate WCTI reported. "He was walking in the woods back there and we can't find him."

Authorities employed helicopters, drones and K-9 units, Craven County Emergency Management Director Stanley Kite said. Divers also are assessing nearby ponds, WTVD reported.

The US Marine Corps also joined the search effort, Hughes said.

"Today, hundreds of professional searchers and volunteers walked through rough terrain around the home to try and locate Casey," the Craven County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. "Volunteers were sent home for the night due to safety concerns. Professionally trained searchers will continue to work overnight. Additional search assets will return in the morning."

The sheriff's office had asked residents to check their properties for signs of the missing boy.

"It's heartbreaking. I have two children so I can only imagine what the family is going through and we're a small community so you don't really expect anything bad to happen here," Jonathan Ipock, youth pastor of New Haven Church, told WTVD.


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