A three year-old boy who went missing in a North Carolina forest had quite a story to tell when he was found safely three days later, telling his family he “hung out with a bear” during his time in the woods to keep safe.
Little Casey Hathaway went missing last Tuesday moments after he went outside to play in his great-grandmother’s backyard with his sister and cousin. Family members immediately called police, and a massive search effort was launched involving 600 volunteers, FBI officials, divers, and state authorities. The search party scoured the cold and rainy forest in the hopes of finding the boy for three days, to no avail.
Rescuers finally found Casey in a patch of thorn bushes at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday just about a half mile from where he went missing. They found him after they heard the toddler crying for his mother, and the little boy was dressed only in the coat and sweatpants he was wearing when he went missing.
His aunt Breanna Hathaway took to Facebook to say that Casey told his family that he “hung out with a bear for two days” during his time in the forest.
“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,” she wrote.
The local police chief confirmed that Casey had told officers that he had spent time with a bear when he was lost in the forest. We’re so glad that this bear and God kept Casey safe for so many days out in the cold!