FBI: Missing 6-year-old boy who has autism found dead in North Carolina

Make sure to let us know what you think... we now have comments turned ON below the article!

A 6-year-old boy who had autism went missing on Saturday after running too far ahead of his father in a park, sparking a massive search operation that lasted six days and included local, state, and federal officials.

But a body believed to be the young boy, who is named Maddox Ritch, was found on Thursday, according to the FBI in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Frantic search

Fox News reported that Maddox had been enjoying the Rankin Lake Park, about 20 miles west of Charlotte, on Saturday when the 6-year-old, who cannot speak, sprinted ahead of his father and his father’s friend until he was out of sight.

“I was terrified,” the boy’s father, Ian Ritch, told People. “I didn’t know which direction he went, so I looked as hard as I could, I went different ways and everything.”

Ritch added: “Usually when he takes off running, he’ll slow down and stop for me to catch up with him. This time he never stopped.”

Rescuers searched for Maddox in the park and the surrounding area, including a nearby woods and marshland, for six days.

The FBI even offered a $10,000 reward for information about the missing child and searched a nearby lake with a dive team before finding him dead on Thursday morning.

Investigation not over

FBI Supervisory Agent Jason Kaplan said in a news conference on Thursday that “the investigation is not over,” and that authorities were still attempting to locate and interview any potential witnesses, including anyone who was at the park on the day the boy first disappeared.

“Where did he enter, how did he get there, what was the manner of death, what was the cause of death, was there any crime that was committed or are we simply looking at an accident?” Kaplan asked. “Those are very difficult questions to answer, but they are questions that we will answer.”

[show_poll poll_id=869]

Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton said he and his community is “heartbroken” over the loss of Maddox.

“Maddox Ritch, a beautiful young man, blond hair, blue eyes, out walking this past Saturday with his dad. Walking around the lake, looking at turtles, doing the things a young man would do,” Helton said, reportedly through tears. “This is not the end that we hoped for.”

523 Responses

  1. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  2. I cling on to listening to the news update speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.