Body found in hunt for N Carolina six year old — Maddox Ritch

Body found in hunt for N Carolina six year old — Maddox Ritch

Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton fought back tears and a breaking voice during a news conference in which it was announced officials believed the body searchers found was that of Maddox Ritch.

Earlier Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Charlotte tweeted, "With heavy hearts we announce a body believed to be 6-year-old Maddox Ritch was found at approximately 1 p.m. off of Marietta Street/Old Dallas Highway in Gastonia".

"If you were at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday and saw Maddox or took video or photos of their outing at the park, call us", Helton said Sunday.

The father of a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a North Carolina park over the weekend said Wednesday that the search for his son has been "torture". Maddox was about 25 to 30 feet away when he broke into a sprint, Ritch said. Ritch said his son often ran ahead of him, and then would slow down and wait for him to catch up.

Maddox's father, Ian Ritch, said he and a friend were walking with Maddox in the park when his son ran ahead, likely triggered by a passing jogger. However, because Maddox is nonverbal, they still have not had any luck finding him.

Maddox Ritch has not been seen since Saturday, when he ran away from his father in a park in Gastonia.

The news release says the boy's parents have been notified about the body being found, and police scheduled a news conference for later in the afternoon. After an hour, Ritch called 911, saying he delayed that call because he thought he would find his son and hoped he would have no reason to call police.


"We searched everywhere", the man said on the phone call.

Police said Maddox is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds.

The 6-year-old with blond hair and bright blue eyes had a wide, infectious smile.

The FBI and more than two dozen local and state police departments have been searching for the missing boy.

Authorities also partially drained the 80-acre lake to better see the shoreline.

Today police said they had found a body in an overgrown area about four miles from the park. It's unclear how he died, authorities said.

"He likes running", Ritch said. "He loves Bouncy Balls and he loves his teddy bear", she said. And to everyone in the community that were hoping and praying and just took one second of their time to think about Maddox i thank yall too.


Ritch said he, the friend who was with them and park staff members first helped search for Maddox.

"Hearing about this, it makes me want to go to my nieces and nephews and hug them as tight as I can, and tell them how much I love them", Adams said.

Police still want to talk to people who were at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel are taking part in the search, leaving no stone unturned. "She said, 'I don't know if we have or not, but we'll check on it and see", Harold Early told FOX 46.

How did Maddox's autism affect the search?

The family has set up a $10,000 reward for any information that will help locate the missing boy. "We're just grateful that he has been found".

The boy was allegedly last seen on Saturday at Gastonia's Rankin Lake Park.


"It was absolutely unbelievable that he was found", Kaplan said.

Related Articles

  • SC lifts ban on women entering Sabarimala

    SC lifts ban on women entering Sabarimala

    Similar to the president of the Travancore Devasom Board president, he said that the temple may have to implement the verdict. Disappointed with Supreme Court's verdict, Sabarimala head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru said he would accept it anyhow.
    Kavanaugh Confirmation Odds Tank After Blasey Ford’s Testimony

    Kavanaugh Confirmation Odds Tank After Blasey Ford’s Testimony

    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley opened the hearing with an apology to both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh. Instead of questioning Ford themselves, Republicans hired Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, to question Ford.
    Adultery no longer a crime, Supreme Court strikes down Section 497 IPC

    Adultery no longer a crime, Supreme Court strikes down Section 497 IPC

    It is not clear how many men have been prosecuted under the law since its inception - there is no data available. India's highest court has struck down a century-old law that made adultery a criminal offense, the BBC reports.
  • Trump Rejected PM Trudeau Meeting over Refusal to Negotiate Canadian Dairy Tariffs

    Trump Rejected PM Trudeau Meeting over Refusal to Negotiate Canadian Dairy Tariffs

    He has also repeatedly threatened to walk away from the talks rather than sign on to a deal which would be bad for Canada. The three nations' auto industries are highly integrated, and tariffs on Canadian-built cars would be hugely disruptive.
    Senior Manchester United Players Frustrated With Jose Mourinho

    Senior Manchester United Players Frustrated With Jose Mourinho

    Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has not drawn up any plans to part ways with either Jose Mourinho or Paul Pogba .
    Meghan Markle Closing Her Own Car Door Excites Social Media Users

    Meghan Markle Closing Her Own Car Door Excites Social Media Users

    Another wrote: "I give up on this world when people are congratulating a person shutting a auto door on their own". Making her arrival, Meghan is seen getting out of the auto having had the door opened for her.
  • US Senate holds hearing on Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations

    US Senate holds hearing on Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations

    He told Kavanaugh that he hopes the nominee ends up on the Supreme Court, saying, "that's exactly where you should be". Corker is another outgoing senator who has had his fair share of disagreements with Trump.

    Woman details sexual assault allegation against Trump court nominee

    Mazzon said Ford told her about her encounter over dinner in June 2013, while White learned of it in 2017. She witnessed both of them "drink excessively and "engage in highly inappropriate conduct".
    Arsenal boss Emery happy with 2-goal Welbeck: Contract talks?

    Arsenal boss Emery happy with 2-goal Welbeck: Contract talks?

    Those who wonder why Danny Welbeck is picked for England squads may like to study his performance last night. Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been rested completely by Emery.
  • Sarri insists Eden Hazard can become best player in the world

    However, Hazard insisted he is more concerned with trying to win silverware, than achieve any specific goal tally. The game is a big test for the Reds who are looking to maintain their ideal start to their Premier League season.
    What life will be like for Bill Cosby in prison

    What life will be like for Bill Cosby in prison

    In addition, Cosby was fined $25,000 and denied bail while appealing the sexual assault conviction. Cosby , once revered as "America's Dad" for playing wise, caring Dr.
    Jewish Woman Accuses Kavanaugh Of Sexual Misconduct In High School

    Jewish Woman Accuses Kavanaugh Of Sexual Misconduct In High School

    Avenatti had for several days said he had a client, until now unnamed, who had been aware of gang rapes connected to Kavanaugh. A vote on confirmation in the full Senate could happen as early as October 2, according to senior Senate Republicans .