Community mourns death of Maddox Ritch

28 September, 2018, 18:49 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Maddox Ritch

According to Gastonia Police, the remains believed to be the missing six-year-old with autism were found in a creek near Marietta Street and Old Dallas Highway in Gastonia around 1 p.m. Thursday.

Police are using recordings of his parents' voices in an attempt to get Maddox's attention if he's lost in the woods.

FBI Charlotte tweeted that the investigation was ongoing, while a news conference is due to be held later on Thursday afternoon.

The mother of a missing North Carolina boy with autism tearfully pleaded for anyone to come forward with information that might help find her son.

Police scheduled a news conference at 4 p.m.

On September 22, Maddox took off running during a walk around the lake, a police spokeswoman said.

Maddox was 25 to 30 feet away before he broke into a sprint just as a jogger passed them. Ian Ritch said his son had run ahead of him and disappeared before he was able to catch up.

The young boy went missing last Saturday after running off from his father Ian and a friend in Rankin Lake Park.

"Maddox Ritch, a attractive young man, blond hair, blue eyes, out walking this past Saturday with his dad".

"I'm heartbroken", said Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton, fighting back tears.

Police released the 911 call Wednesday that was made almost an hour after Maddox went missing.

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

More news: Donald Trump: 'Pray for Brett Kavanaugh and His Family!'

The 6-year-old with blond hair and bright blue eyes had a wide, infectious smile. He was last seen wearing an orange T-shirt featuring the phrase, "I am the man". Local, state and federal authorities had expanded their search two miles beyond the park's boundaries, city police said.

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

The FBI's Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team was in the water earlier Thursday at Rankin Lake Park when they made the devastating discovery.

Kaplan said it was "amazing" that searchers found Maddox, in an area previously searched by teams on foot, with ATVs and with drones. "Please call the tip line (704-869-1075)".

The boy's mother, Carrie Ritch, spoke publicly for the first time since her son's disappearance in a heartbreaking plea.

She said that he loved the park, bouncy balls and his teddy bear.

"Usually when he takes off running he'll slow down and stop for me to catch up on him".

'Maddox is my whole world and my reason for living.

"I'm not eating. I'm not sleeping".

"I just want my baby home, please", she said, struggling to contain her emotions.

Helton said authorities would like to talk to an unidentified jogger who was in the park at the time, and to a professional photographer who witnesses said was taking photos of other children dressed in Dr. Seuss costumes. Park personnel also joined in the search but didn't see Maddox, either.

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