He was playing with two other relatives outside his great-grandmother's home in Craven County and didn't come inside when the others did, CNN affiliate WTVD reported. Searchers responding to tip had heard Casey calling for his mother Thursday and the Chocowinity EMS captain subsequently found him around 50 yards (45 meters) into the woods, entangled in briars.
Hathaway was found on Thursday night by a professional search and rescue team in Craven County, Shelley Lynch, a spokesperson for the FBI Charlotte field office, said in a news release.
"We brought Casey to his family, just like we said we were going to do", he said.
The search is on for a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from the backyard of his grandmother's North Carolina home, police said.
"No tip is insignificant", Hughes said.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 252-633-0498 or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at 919-662-4500.
PHOTO: Authorities are searching Casey Lynn Hathaway, a missing 3-year-old boy.
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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.
By Wednesday almost 600 volunteers and trained professionals joined the massive search effort to find him and authorities called in divers to search surrounding ponds and lakes.
Authorities have employed helicopters, drones and K-9 units, Craven County Emergency Management Director Stanley Kite said. Volunteers were even turned away for Thursday's search because of safety concerns. 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.
The US Marine Corps also joined the search effort, Hughes said.
'Additional search assets will return in the morning.
Officials were also concerned the boy wasn't appropriately dressed for the bad weather.
The sheriff's office urged residents to check storage sheds, vehicles and their property for the child.
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