Missing North Carolina 3-year-old found alive

ERNUL, N.C. -- Authorities in North Carolina say a 3-year-old boy who was missing for two days has been found alive in good health.

In a news release Thursday night, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch says Casey Hathaway was found by professional search and rescue crews near Cayton.

The boy is being evaluated at a hospital.

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes says the boy was playing with two other children in his grandmother's backyard in Ernul on Tuesday, but didn't come inside with them.

Family members were posting on social media about the good news Thursday night.

Professional searchers covered wooded areas Thursday night in the search for Casey. Hundreds of volunteers helped in the effort Tuesday and Wednesday but were told to stay away Thursday for safety reasons because of treacherous terrain and conditions.

K-9 units with the National center for Missing and Exploited children helped in the search.

The 911 call that was made in reference to Casey's disappearance, which was released Thursday, shed new light on the situation. The caller said that family members had been searching for Casey for almost an hour before calling police
"It's been at least 45 minutes, cause we've been looking all in the woods for him," the caller said.
The operator then asked where the child disappeared.

"Is it directly behind your house?"

"Yeah...well on the side...yeah," the caller said.

Later in the conversation, the caller hinted that Casey's disappearance was out of character for him.

"Does he usually do this?"

"No," the caller stated.

Casey was first reported missing Tuesday afternoon after the two children he was outside playing with went inside Casey's grandmother's house without him.

According to National Weather Service data, the night Casey went missing, temperatures in Craven County were below freezing for roughly six hours.

Sheriff Chip Hughes said the child wasn't dressed properly for the weather.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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