• Newsfeed
  • North Carolina

North Carolina Boy, 3, Found After Missing in the Woods for 2 Days. He Says He ‘Hung Out With a Bear’

3 minute read

A 3-year-old boy who was found after missing for two days in the North Carolina woods, says he “hung out with a bear.”

The child, Casey Hathaway, was playing outside his great-grandmother’s house with two other children on Tuesday, when he apparently wandered off into the woods, according to a report by local news channel WITN.

Hundreds of people, drones, helicopters and search dogs searched more than 1,000 acres for the boy, but were unable to find him, according to the channel. Over the next few days, the area experienced freezing temperatures and heavy rain, and some began to fear the worst.

Lisa Fraker, who had joined the search party, was back at home on Thursday evening when she decided to take her dogs out for a walk. She had just stepped outside when she heard what she thought might be crying.

Fraker put her dogs back in her house and ran up to another street, asking a emergency responder to come and listen to the sound.

“Next thing I know, [the emergency responder] was coming back and telling me that yes, he heard something too. And the next thing I know, everybody was running up there and I heard he was found,” Fraker told WITN.

EMS Captain Shane Grier found Hathaway tangled up in a thorn bush. Grier told WITN that Hathaway seemed to be alright.

“You could tell he was very cold so we immediately started warming him up once we got him to the vehicle,” Grier said. “The more we warmed him up, it seemed the better he got.”

EMS transported Hathaway to a local hospital. Hathaway was cut up and bruised, but seemed otherwise to be unharmed, according to WITN.

Hathaway’s aunt, Breanna Hathaway, wrote on Facebook that her nephew seems to be fine.

“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,” Breanna Hathaway wrote.

Hathaway also wrote on Facebook that one of her nephew’s favorite things is the Russian cartoon Masha and the Bear.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com