CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) Walking her dogs along Aurora Road Thursday night Linda Fraker thought she heard a child crying in the woods. She did. And that child turned out to be 3-year-old Casey Hathaway who had been missing since Tuesday afternoon.
Fraker says, "it's a miracle. I mean there's really no other way to say it."
Fraker is one of the hundreds of volunteers who came out to search for Casey.
She also lives just down the street from where he was found, and had just began walking her dogs when she heard a noise. She says, "I thought I heard crying, but I didn't want to confuse it with all the search that was going on on the other side of the woods. So I brought the dogs inside, and I went back out, and I listened again, and again, I heard just a crying, so I ran up to Toler Road and I got the officer and I asked him to please come down and just, just listen. Next thing I know he was coming back and telling me that yes, he heard something too. And the next thing I know everybody was running up there and I heard he was found."
Fraker's son Noah is a friend of Casey's family, and was at the hospital Thursday night when Casey told him he wasn't in the woods alone.
Noah Denis says, "Casey said a bear was his best friend for two days, so I just wanna give him a big hug. That's all I want to do, is give him a big hug."
Neighbors like Kristin Toler, some with children of their own, say watching the search unfold has brought them a little closer. She says, "I was at home with my son, and all I could do was hold him a lot tighter. Casey you are one strong little boy."