For three days an adorable little three year old boy was missing.  He lived in a rural area of North Carolina and was out playing with friends when he disappeared.  Authorities, including the FBI, NCIS, volunteers and the US Marine Corps, joined forces to find the little guy.

As the days passed, concern grew for Casey who faced vines, thorns, and inclement weather that dipped to 20F at night and rained during the day.  You can imagine that the family was frantic.  Fortunately, on the third day, Casey was found when rescuers heard him call out for his mom.

When he was asked about what happened, he said that he had a friend with him  - a bear!

The authorities were in disbelief and thought perhaps he had become delusional from the trauma, so they gave him a “forensic psychological exam.”  They found nothing conclusive to verify his report, or to show otherwise.

Photo published with permission of photographer Rona Schwartz •

But we ask why that would be so difficult to understand.  Black bears are vegetarian animals.  I can vouch for the fact that they can be playful and not threatening.  Alone in a remote area of what used to be the Catskill Game Farm, I noticed a bear teenager who darted behind trees and poked his head from behind a tree as I was walking.  He kept pace with me and continued to move from tree to tree poking his head from behind the tree as though to play hide-and-seek. He even seemed to have a little grin on his face.

Yes, I believe that Casey had a friend out there, it wasn’t unlikely, and the bear could have helped Casey get through those days by keeping him company.

The sheriff apparently took it seriously also.  Considering the conditions, he said he believed the kid was looked after and his survival was a miracle.  “I don’t know if that meant he saw a bear,” Hughes told WCTI. “I don’t know if that meant a bear embraced him or what it meant. I thought it was a very cute story, and if that’s what helped that child survive through this, you know what, I’m to going to embrace that story that came from a three-year-old, to his mom, to us.” Wildlife Watch has put a call in to the Sheriff’s office to see if they had the result of the test back, but we haven’t heard from them yet.

His mother was later interviewed and she was asked if she believed his story that a bear had kept him company, and she said matter-of-factly, “If he said that, it has to be true.”

See this great news report:

Photo published with permission of photographer Rona Schwartz •