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'He's a tough little fella:' How rescuers found 3-year-old Casey Hathaway 2 days after he disappeared in the woods

For more than two days, hundreds of rescuers searched the woods of Craven County for Casey Hathaway. In the end, a woman walking her dog heard a small voice crying for help and a community's prayers were answered.

WCNC Staff

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Casey Hathaway spent two excruciating days lost, alone in the woods of Craven County before he was finally found safe Thursday night.

Casey went missing after he was playing with two other children in his grandmother's yard. When the kids went inside, Casey wasn't with them. By the time his grandmother went outside to get him, he was gone.

“They play out there all the time. They go back and fourth from my house to my daughter’s house," Julie Toler said. "I’m glad he’s fine because it would have been terrible for everybody if something happened to him."

I felt guilty," Toler said. "I didn't want to get warm because I knew he was cold. I didn’t want to eat because I knew he was hungry. It was just terrible.”

Hundreds of searchers covered miles of wooded and rough terrain on the ground and in the air before finally, a woman heard a small voice crying out for help.