NEW KENT COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - In the arms of his mother, 20-year-old Nathan Crawley was now safe.
Living with cerebral palsy, Crawley cannot speak or walk well. He disappeared around four o'clock Thursday afternoon and more than 24 hours later, a bow hunter perched on a tree, heard him moaning for help.
"I heard someone screaming and it didn't sound like someone screaming and it didn't sound like hollering, it sounded like someone hollering for help more like anything, moaning almost and that's when I called 911," said Brad Bullock from Hanover.
Finally, the search was over. Dozens of rescuers had been searching on foot and by air since daybreak. They'd even searched close to where Crawley was eventually found. When they got to him, Crawley was in the swamp, barely clothed.
His teachers from New Kent High School, who showed up to support the family, say they were surprised, yet proud, Crawley made it through the night alone in the dark woods.
"He's a fighter but seeing the wood as we were coming back here, it's thick back there," said New Kent High School Teacher, Jane Gregory.
Family members say this is how you know prayers do work.
"I'm thankful, thankful that the Lord has blessed him to come through the night and be ok," said Crawley's grandfather, Reverend Russell Crawley.
"Words can't explain it, I just thank the Lord he's alive," said family friend, Blanche Harris.