Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A missing 3-year-old North Carolina boy was found alive late Thursday, tangled in vines and thorn bushes after authorities spent two days looking for him.
Officials said Casey Hathaway wandered away from his grandmother's yard on Tuesday, leading to an intensive search by authorities. He was found about a quarter-mile from the home in thick woods, police said Thursday night.
"He was cold but verbal," Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told reporters. "For the conditions, I think he fared very well. We're very fortunate."
The child was taken to Carolina East Medical Center. Officials said he had some cuts and scrapes and was soaking wet when found.
The boy went missing in Ernul, N.C., after he was seen playing with a group of children Tuesday afternoon. There were no signs of abduction so no Amber Alert was issued, Hughes said.
"It's a great evening folks," Hughes said. "We brought Casey to his family, just like we said we were going to do ... Little fella is happy, and his parents are very happy, too."
Nearly 600 volunteers combed the thick woods in the area looking for the boy, as temperatures got colder. They covered about 200 acres of "treacherous" terrain that was "flooded and filled with sinkholes." Swift water teams searched several ponds for 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 pray for him. And he's good, he is good, he's up and talking," said mother Brittany Hathaway. "He's already asked to watch Netflix."