north carolina boy who went missing says he hung out with a bear for days

North Carolina boy, 3, who went missing, says he ‘hung out with a bear for 2 days’

USA

A three-year-old North Carolina boy who went missing earlier this week told his family that he “hung out with a bear for two days.”

Casey Lynn Hathaway, 3, disappeared on Tuesday from his grandmother’s backyard while playing with other children, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office said.

The FBI, state investigators and the U.S. Marine Corps from nearby bases at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point joined the effort to find the boy. On Thursday, Hathaway was found. He was located by professional search and rescue teams, the FBI said.

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On Friday, the boy’s aunt posted an update on the boy on Facebook.

“Casey is healthy, smiling and talking,” Breanna Hathaway wrote. “He said he hung out with a bear for two days God sent him a friend to keep him safe. God is good God. Miracles do happen.”

Hathaway’s family said Friday that Casey spent the day in the hospital “eating Cheetos, nuggets, and watching ‘PAW Patrol.’”

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Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told reporters on Thursday that authorities were able to find the boy after hearing someone call out for their mother. They then found the boy stuck in “a tangle of vines and thorns” about a half a mile from the place where he disappeared, the Charlotte Observer reported. The boy was discovered “wet, cold and scratched up” but he could talk.

It was not immediately clear where Casey was during those two days and what enabled him to stay safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.