North Carolina authorities say missing boy found alive in good health

Search for missing 3-year-old boy continues after he went missing while playing outside

Casey Hathaway had been playing with two older children in the town of Ernul on Tuesday but didn't come inside with the others, Fox News reported.

It took three harrowing days for a search team to find Casey Hathaway alive.

At a news conference Thursday night, Brittany Hathaway thanked the almost 600 volunteers who turned out to search for Casey Lynn Hathaway after he went missing from his grandmother's backyard Tuesday.

Casey's family has been extremely cooperative, authorities said.

A 3-year-old boy was found alive, caught in a briar patch and calling for his mother, two days after he vanished from his grandmother's yard in North Carolina. "It's been at least 45 minutes cause we've been looking all over the woods for him", his great-grandmother said in a 911 call transcript released to a local TV station.

Hundreds of volunteers and multiple agencies surrounding the county provided resources and support as they searched for the boy in what Hughes called "tough" wooded terrain.

"No tip is insignificant", Hughes said.

Casey Hathaway disappeared Tuesday afternoon after he had been playing outside his grandmother's house with relatives.

"We're not giving up", added the county's emergency management coordinator, Stanley Kite. Temperatures in Craven County reached the mid-30s overnight Tuesday.

The Sheriff expressed concern over sinkholes and deep water ditches in the area, which were being assessed by divers.

They faced hard terrain, poor visibility and bad weather, including near-freezing temperatures.

Casey was receiving medical treatment at the CarolinaEast Medical Center, with his family in the room. Some volunteers had to be turned away because of the hard conditions search teams are facing.

The FBI and U.S. Marine Corps from nearby bases at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point joined the search effort on Wednesday, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughs announced the second day of the search. Additional search assets will return in the morning.

"Residents living in the area are asked to check storage sheds, vehicles, and their property for the child", deputies posted on Facebook.

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