Casey was playing with two other kids in his grandmother's backyard in Ernul, North Carolina, when he vanished, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told USA Today.
As the temperatures dropped and safety concerns rose, volunteers were sent home, but professional searchers continued on through the night.
In a news release Thursday night, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Shelley Lynch says Casey Hathaway was found by professional search and rescue crews in Craven County in eastern North Carolina.
Casey's family searched for 45 minutes before calling 911 Tuesday, Hughes said, and since then 10 to 12 other counties and 20 to 25 other sheriffs have joined the search, as have the FBI, NCIS and State Highway Patrol.
Casey Hathaway, the 3-year-old boy who went missing earlier this week from his grandmother's yard in North Carolina, has been found alive. When Casey didn't come inside with the other children, his grandmother searched the home and outside, but the little boy was nowhere to be seen, officials said.
Hughes said at a Thursday press briefing before Casey was found that the search was being treated as a missing-child investigation and not regarded as being suspicious.
Impact on the Moon during the total lunar eclipse
The telescopes used by MIDAS have high-sensitivity video cameras that are used to continuously record events during observations. Madiedo / University of Huelva . "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".
"He's good! He's up and talking". "He's already asked to watch Netflix, so he's good". "We just want to tell everybody that we're very thankful that you took the time out to come search for Casey and prayed for him".
But when he was found, the sheriff's office said he was in good health. The characteristics of the area created visual problems for both the people searching on the ground and by the air. Even trained searchers were experiencing difficulties. It's just awesome to see everyone come together to help, ' youth pastor Jonathan Ipock said.
"The terrain was woods". As it got darker, it was scary out there. It was thick in places.
Authorities have employed helicopters, drones and K-9 units, Craven County Emergency Management Director Stanley Kite said. "Thank you all for helping us #FindCasey".
"No tip is insignificant", Hughes said. "It's just fantastic to see everyone come together to help".