'He's good, he's good:' Missing North Carolina toddler found after he went missing amid freezing temps

ERNUL, N.C. -- Missing 3-year-old Casey Hathaway was found alive, three days after he disappeared from his grandmother's North Carolina home.

The FBI confirmed that Casey was located by professional search and rescue crews off Toler and Aurora roads on Thursday evening in Craven County.

"It's a great evening, folks," said Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes. "We brought Casey to his family like we said we were going to do. Had a big smile on his face when he saw his sister."

Casey was taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for an evaluation. The FBI said he is in good health and was reunited with his family.

"He's good, he's good, he's up and talking, he's already asking to watch Netflix," said Casey's mother, Brittany Hathaway, at a news conference.

WATCH: FBI gives update after missing boy is found alive

Professional searchers covered wooded areas Thursday night in the search for Casey. Hundreds of volunteers helped in the effort Tuesday and Wednesday but were told to stay away Thursday for safety reasons because of treacherous terrain and conditions.

Shane Grier, captain of Chocowinity EMS, is the person who found Casey.

"We responded to a tip and found him by voice," Grier said. "Disentangled him from some briars and brought him out."

Many questions remain unanswered. Hughes said he doesn't believe Casey was in that area the whole time.

"I think he moved around," Hughes said.

Grier said as soon as he got to the location, he heard Casey calling for his mom.

"He was cold. He was verbal," Grier said. "Considering the conditions, I think he's doing very well."

K-9 units with the National Center for Missing and Exploited children helped in the search.

The 911 call that was made in reference to Casey's disappearance, which was released Thursday, shed new light on the situation.

The caller said that family members had been searching for Casey for almost an hour before calling police

"It's been at least 45 minutes, 'cause we've been looking all in the woods for him," the caller said.

The operator then asked where the child disappeared.

Later in the conversation, the caller hinted that Casey's disappearance was out of character for him.

Casey was first reported missing Tuesday afternoon after the two children he was outside playing with went inside Casey's grandmother's house without him.

According to National Weather Service data, the night Casey went missing, temperatures in Craven County were below freezing for roughly six hours.

Hughes said early in the search that he was concerned the the child wasn't dressed properly for the weather.
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