NewsNational News


FBI: Body Of Missing Boy With Autism Found In North Carolina

Posted at 2:19 PM, Sep 27, 2018

GASTONIA, N.C. (CNN) – A body believed to be the missing 6-year-old boy with autism who went missing last week has been found.

The FBI 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. Maddox’s parents have been notified of the discovery. The investigation is ongoing.”

Maddox Ritch disappeared after his father said he lost sight of him at the Rankin Lake Park.  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. Maddox was about 25 to 30 feet away when he broke into a sprint, Ritch said.

Ritch said he “was giving him just a little leeway, freedom” when he let him run up ahead, but he had a clear view of his son.

Maddox often runs ahead of him but would usually slow down and stop to give him time to catch up, Ritch said.

“I couldn’t catch up with him. I feel guilt for letting him get so far ahead of me before I started running after him,” Ritch told reporters on Wednesday.