Casey Hathaway missing: 3-year-old boy disappears from grandma's backyard in Craven County

ERNUL, N.C. -- Hundreds of volunteers turned out Wednesday morning to help search for a missing 3-year-old boy in Craven County.

So many volunteers showed up, authorities actually had to announce that no more volunteers would be accepted.

Deputies said Casey Hathaway went missing from his grandmother's home, in Ernul, around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

According to WCTI, he was playing with two children in the backyard before his disappearance.

Officials said the grandmother and others searched for Casey for 45 minutes before calling 911.

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said his deputies have not ruled out any possibilities in the boy's disappearance, including "abduction or kidnapping." However, the FBI, who is assisting in the investigation, said they have no reason to believe the boy didn't just walk away and is now lost.

Temperatures were below freezing for 6 hours overnight in the Craven County area, according to National Weather Service data.

Casey is 2'4", weighs 25 pounds, has strawberry blonde hair, and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a blue coat and dark-colored pants.

Tuesday afternoon and evening more than 100 volunteers gave their time to get out and look for Casey.

"We are doing everything we can to find this child, utilizing all resources at our disposal and once again, we want these folks in the Cayton Community and Ernul Community to certainly keep an ear out," said Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.