It's quite rare for children to be found safe or even alive after wandering off and getting lost in the wild for days. Therefore, Hathaway's family was rightly concerned when their 3-year-old boy, Casey, got lost for two days in the woods.
This happened during a harsh North Carolina winter, and the woods the boy disappeared into also had dangerous wild animals.
So, it was utterly a miracle that Casey was found alive three days later. He revealed that a bear was responsible for his surprising survival in the woods when he was found.
Apparently, the bear kept him warm and stopped him from freezing to death while he was lost in the woods.
He Disappeared While Playing With Other Kids
The boy was at his grandma's, and he was outside playing with other kids. However, when other kids got back inside the house, he was not among them.
Typically, he was described as a curious boy by his parents. Therefore, they naturally assumed he got curious about something and decided to do a little exploring.
However, as soon as his grandma realized he was missing, she called the cops. She told the police that the boy was walking in the woods and could not be found.
As soon as the police got this information, they started looking for him, mainly because the weather was projected to worsen within a short while. On the first night, temperatures reached 20 F.
The following night was not only cold, but it also came with heavy rainfall. The weather was so bad that the search had to be stopped for a while.
His family started to accept that there was little hope of finding the boy alive and well. In fact, the odds of ever finding the boy were quite slim, but still not as bad as the chances of finding him alive.
His Survival Was A Miracle
Many resources were used during the search for the young boy, including dogs, drones, and helicopters. During the second night, cops asked volunteers to keep off as the weather was too bad.
However, the boy was not dressed to survive this weather, which got the family worried.
Later, someone claimed to have heard a baby crying in the woods. Following another search, the boy was found. He was tangled in thorny bushes.
To reach the boy, the rescuers had to wade through waist-high water. Strangely, although the boy was cold, he only had a couple of minor scratches.
Other than that, he did not have any other injuries. His only desire was to get some water and get to his mom.
Obviously, everyone wondered how the boy had survived the freezing nights in the woods without any significant harm.
As he was being checked over at the hospital by the doctors, he explained how he had made it through.
Apparently, when in the woods, he made friends with a black bear, and his new furry buddy kept him warm and saved him from freezing to death.
According to his aunt, he "hung out with a bear for two days."
Clearly, this story sounds too incredible to be believable, especially considering that it comes from a curious 3-year-old.
However, there is no way to confirm or dispute the story.
That said, there are plenty of black bears in the area, and crossing paths with one of these fearsome animals is entirely possible. However, it is difficult to imagine these fierce animals being befriended and turned into buddies that can keep you warm at night.
What matters the most is that the incident had a happy ending. The boy survived the impossible and did not end up in a reasonably expected tragedy under the circumstances.