A tragic ending.
The FBI has confirmed the body of missing child Maddox Ritch was found in the area where his father claimed he went missing on Saturday, September 22.
The 6-year-old autistic boy, who was described as non-verbal, was with his father at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia, North Carolina, when he disappeared.
“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,” the FBI in Charlotte tweeted on Thursday.
Maddox's father, Ian Ritch, claimed he lost sight of his son in the park when he said he was "giving him just a little leeway, freedom.”
The father and an unidentified friend claimed that they searched for him for an hour before asking a park employee to contact the police.
Police are on the scene, and have not yet removed the body.
Stay with Radar for updates to the story.
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