Casey was playing with two other kids in his grandmother's backyard in Ernul, North Carolina, when he vanished, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told USA Today.
Three-year-old Casey Lynn Hathaway has been found alive in North Carolina, according to Shelley Lynch, a spokeswoman for FBI Charlotte field office.
Casey's family has been extremely cooperative, authorities said.
The search for a 3-year-old boy, who went missing from his grandmother's backyard in Craven County earlier this week, resumes Thursday morning, officials said in a Wednesday news conference. A relative in the home searched for Casey and when they were unable to find him, called 911.
Temperatures are expected to fall to near freezing Thursday in the area near where Casey disappeared, Hughes said, creating concern for authorities, who already are facing rugged, hard terrain.
Fears grew for Casey's health as the temperature dropped overnight. "He's already asked to watch Netflix".
Despite strong winds and heavy rain, search teams and concerned community members were tirelessly combing the woods in the area since Hathaway disappeared, hoping to find the boy. "We just want to tell everybody that we're very thankful that you took the time out to come search for Casey and prayed for him".
Those factors, coupled with the potential for unsafe weather, caused officials to only allow professionals to search on Thursday, according to WTVD.
The search area was termed as unsafe by the sheriff's office before he was located. "We did it for three-and-a-half, four hours and it was bad".
"The terrain was woods". It's just wonderful to see everyone come together to help, ' youth pastor Jonathan Ipock said. "It was thick in places", added Max Dudley, a volunteer. As it got darker, it was scary out there.
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said they have been working around the clock and navigating rugged and hard terrain in search of Casey.
"We brought Casey to his family, just like we said we were going to do. It's just wonderful to see everyone come together to help".
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