FBI, Marines, join search for missing 3-year-old North Carolina boy: report

The disappearance of a missing 3-year-old boy in North Carolina stretched into its second day Wednesday night and now involves hundreds of volunteers and multiple law enforcement agencies in the search effort, despite the area’s below-freezing temperatures and rugged terrain, reports said.

Casey Lynn Hathaway was last seen playing Monday in the backyard of his grandmother’s home in Ernul but never came inside. The boy’s grandmother said she searched for 45 minutes before calling the police, officials said.

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Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told reporters Wednesday that authorities are treating the boy’s case as “a missing child investigation and search,” and have not ruled out the possibility of an “abduction or kidnapping.”

The search continued through Wednesday evening, involving the FBI, state investigators, and Marines among the family’s friends and relatives, WSOC Charlotte reported. Some volunteers went home around 9:30 p.m., but search-and-rescue efforts continued through the night with divers searching nearby ponds, Hughes said.

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Hathaway is described as 2’4”, weighing 25 pounds, with strawberry blond hair, and brown eyes. Hughes said the boy was not adequately dressed for the area’s freezing temperatures at the time of his disappearance.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call 252-633-0498 or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at 919-662-4500.