Officials confirm 3-year-old Casey Hathaway was not kidnapped

ERNUL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Officials confirmed there is no evidence that Casey Hathaway was kidnapped.

"There is currently no evidence or information that indicates criminal activity in this case but the investigation is ongoing," officials said Sunday.

The 3-year-old went missing from his grandmother's backyard in Ernul on Jan. 22.

Authorities said two children, who were related to Casey, went inside after playing, but the boy wasn't with them.

After more than 48 hours of intense searching, Casey was found unharmed, not far from where he went missing, which was a shock to many.



"It's a really overwhelming feeling that he's back and he's alive," family Heather Garris told ABC11. "I know that's really shocked the whole community. It's an eye-opener, definitely for a miracle -- believing in miracles because I've seen now they really do happen."

The boy was taken to the hospital and is expected to be OK.
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