Boy, 3, found alive after massive search in North Carolina

By Peter Martinez

/ CBS News

Authorities in Ernul, North Carolina, said late Thursday they had located a boy in good health who was reported missing since Tuesday, CBS affiliate WNCT-TV reports. He is receiving medical attention Thursday night, according to an FBI official.

Casey Hathaway, 3, disappeared while playing near his grandmother's home, WNCT-TV reports.

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said Casey was one of three kids being watched by his grandmother, but he stayed out when two came indoors. The group looked for Casey for about 45 minutes then called police, WNCT-TV adds.

Professional search and rescue crews near Cayton found Casey, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said.

Casey Hathaway seen in an undated photo. WNCT-TV

WNCT-TV reported a helicopter with heat-seeking technology had been used in Casey's search and more than 100 volunteers had helped law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Hughes said at a Thursday press briefing before Casey was found that the search was being treated as a missing-child investigation and not regarded as being suspicious.

"It's a stressful time for the family and everybody involved," Hughes said. "But I can tell you we are certainly doing our due diligence, spending a lot of time with them and just sorting through all the different stories."

"Hopefully, it will be a positive … end on a positive note," Hughes said earlier Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

First published on January 24, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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