3-Year-Old Boy Claims Friendly Bear Kept Him Company During 3-Day Disappearance

Jul 15, 2022 by apost team

A then 3-year-old boy named Casey Hathaway went missing in 2019 after he wandered into the woods while he was playing at a relative's house in North Carolina. His disappearance prompted a massive search that made national news, with hundreds of searchers joining in to look for the boy. Three days later, a neighbor heard cries coming out of the woods. Casey, who was tangled up in a bush and calling for his mom, said a furry friend kept him safe.

When you hear stories about missing children, most of us get a sick feeling. You know they just aren't capable of taking care of themselves as their parents do. You wonder if they would even know how to get help. And, if they were able to call 911, would they be able to tell someone where they were? You also wonder if they know who they need to avoid and if they are aware of people that can help them. Unfortunately, most of the time, they aren't.

We can't even begin to think of what the family of 3-year-old Casey was going through when he went missing. According to Inside Edition, he was playing outside with two other children in Ernul, North Carolina. When playtime ended, the two other kids came back inside, but Casey didn't return. His great-grandmother searched for over 45 minutes and didn't find him anywhere. This was when she decided to call 911 and report him missing.

Search efforts began and continued for several days before Casey was found safe and sound. Chip Hughes, the Sheriff in Craven County, stated that Casey was not dressed appropriately for weather conditions at the time of his disappearance. How did he survive the freezing nights? The young boy credited a friendly bear.

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After discovering that Casey was missing, a huge search ensued to find the young boy. Search efforts continued as divers became involved. Ponds in the area were evaluated. The weather began to turn bad quickly as the hours passed. Soon, state investigators, US. Marines Corps and the FBI joined in the search, according to CNN.

Finally, Casey was found in some briars but was freed relatively quickly – and with quite the story to tell. According to the Guardian, Casey said that a friendly black bear had kept him warm during the freezing two nights he was missing.

Casey’s aunt Breanna – who had kept everyone updated on the situation through her Facebook page – was the first to inform people that Casey had been found. She said:

“He said he hung out with a bear for two days. God sent him a friend to keep him safe. God is a good God. Miracles do happen.”

Bear researcher Chris Servheen said he was unsure if Casey’s story was true but didn’t want to discredit the then-3-year-old’s experience. “I don’t want to cast aspersions on the child but I think the little boy had a fantasy,” he said. “...But if the boy felt comfortable under the watch of a wild animal that’s fine. Whatever helped him get through it.”

After the incident, Casey was sent to the hospital to be treated for minor scratches and malnutrition. His mother went on to tell everyone just how grateful she was for his safe return. “He’s good,” she said. “He is good.”

A year later, Casey reunited with Hughes – one of the men who helped rescue him. He recalled, “The drive was there, by the community, my folks, everyone that came out.”


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