A 3-year-old boy named Casey Hathaway was playing with some friends in the woods near his grandmother’s rural North Carolina home when he went missing. A community search was organized but was delayed by bad weather. Nevertheless, Casey was eventually found — alive, well and remarkably, no worse for the wear. And according to family members, the boy credits a friendly bear with keeping him safe.
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told reporters that Casey “didn’t really get into… how he was able to survive,” but mentioned “having a friend in the woods who was a bear.” Reporters did not ask any follow-up questions, which would suggest a bewildering lack of curiosity on the part of the Craven County journalism culture.
Casey’s aunt Breanna Hathaway later confirmed the kid’s story in a Facebook post, saying “He said he hung out with a bear for two days. God sent him a friend to keep him safe. … Miracles do happen.”