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Missing Three-Year-Old Who Reemerged Days After Getting Lost Was Reportedly Protected By A Bear


Could you imagine getting lost in a freezing forest for days…and having a bear keep you warm? According to Casey Hathaway, a three-year-old North Carolina native who went missing from home for two days, that was his exact experience. Considering the conditions, Hathaway’s survival was a miracle. And it may genuinely be credited to a wild bear.

Searching For Casey Hathaway

When three-year-old Casey Hathaway went missing from his grandma’s backyard, concern immediately swept through the community. North Carolina’s temperatures were near freezing when the young resident disappeared. At a mere two feet, four inches tall, it seemed like it would take a miracle for Casey to survive out in the intense weather.

NYPost/Craven County Sheriff’s Office

Ultimately, even volunteers had to abandon searching for the young boy because of how nasty the weather conditions were. After two days, all hope seemed lost…until a brave group of officials, including EMS Captain Shane Grier, stumbled upon Casey in the woods. Although he was freezing cold and crying for his mother, he was alive. Along with an outpouring of gratitude, everyone wondered: How did he manage to survive?

A Strange Savior

Young Casey was found just a quarter of a mile from his grandma’s house in Craven County. Everyone was overwhelmed with joy, and celebrations ensued across the county. Still, many couldn’t believe that a child managed to stick it out through such rough conditions. Even Captain Grier worried that they wouldn’t come to his aid in time. Yet, Casey offered an incredible detail of his disappearance to explain his miraculous survival.

WRAL

According to Casey, a “friend” kept him company in the woods. However, it wasn’t a person. Rather, Casey’s buddy came in a different form: a bear. While it may sound bizarre, it isn’t impossible. According to Major David McFayden from the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, bears weren’t strangers to the woods of Craven County. And while they continued to look into the details of the case, everyone felt grateful that Casey didn’t feel completely alone.

Comfort Through The Cold

Even after Casey safe return, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office continued to research the case. However, Major McFayden was grateful for the bear that Casey claimed kept him safe in the woods. “We are very pleased he had that type of comfort,” McFayden shared. And those close to Casey are just as grateful, for both his high spirits and his return. They truly believe God sent a bear to watch over Casey.

Breanna Hathaway/Stirile ProTV

According to a close family friend, Heather Garris, Casey began to recover quickly. After his return, the community was shaken with both awe and relief. “It’s an eye-opener, definitely for a miracle…I’ve seen now they really do happen,” Garris said. While Casey’s survival seemed impossible, the resilient three-year-old pulled through…and it may be due in part to the bear who helped him through.

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