ERNUL, N.C. (WNCT) – Casey Hathaway’s miraculous story has captured the attention of many — especially those in the Craven County community. 

The 3-year-old’s parents briefly spoke to the media Thursday night during a news conference. They have asked for privacy for now. 

WNCT was able to speak with some relatives across the street from Casey’s great-grandmother’s home. 

“In such a little, small community, it’s amazing and completely humbling to see the community come together like they have,” said Kristin Toler, a neighbor and family member. 

Toler said she was a part of the initial search party Tuesday night 

“Those woods are thick, and we have hunted out there all of our lives. So, I mean, we know the woods like the back of our hand, and for us to have not found him, we were kind of getting, we were losing hope there for a little while.” 

Toler said she is thankful Casey was found alive and well. 

“I can believe he was still out there, and there’s people that believe he was abducted and brought back. And, you know, there’s all kinds of rumors going around, but he was there,” Toler said. 

“The Lord was definitely looking after him,” she added.

She said during that initial search on Tuesday night, they were frozen to the bone, and she can only imagine what Casey went through that night.

Casey was found alive and well Thursday night.