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Casey Hathaway: Missing toddler found alive after two days

Casey Hathaway: Missing toddler found alive after two days

In a news release Thursday night, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Shelley Lynch says Casey Hathaway was found by professional search and rescue crews near Cayton. "Thank you all for helping us #FindCasey".

"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 had been concerned that Casey wasn't adequately dressed for the cold temperatures.

Three-year-old Casey Lynn Hathaway went missing around 1pm on Tuesday in the backyard of his grandmother's house in Ernul, a rural community ringed by forests and swamps.

Casey was last seen playing with two other children and his grandmother realized he was missing when the two kids returned inside the house without him on Tuesday.

"A relative in the home searched for Casey and when they were unable to find him, called 911", Lynch continued.

Facing heavy rain, gusty winds and low visibility, rescuers and law enforcement combed the hard Craven County, North Carolina, terrain - focusing on up to 1,000 acres of heavily wooded areas.

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'The terrain was woods. If everybody could come and help look for him, it would help. Volunteers were even turned away for Thursday's search because of safety concerns.

'As it got darker, it was scary out there. What would happen if that was one of their children? Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes had expressed concern about sinkholes and deep water ditches in the area, and divers were dispatched to assess nearby ponds. "I just can't imagine a 3-year-old being out there".

'Today, hundreds of professional searchers and volunteers walked through rough terrain around the home to try and locate Casey.

'Additional search assets will return in the morning.

At a press conference on Thursday evening, Shane Grier, captain of Chocowinity Emergency Medical Services and a member of the rescue operation, spoke about the moment when the search team found the child-who was calling out for his mother-in a wooded area off a road.

"No tip is insignificant", the sheriff said Wednesday.


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