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FBI Confirms: Body Of Missing 6-Year-Old Boy With Autism Found

Feb. 25 2019, Updated 11:40 a.m. ET

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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.

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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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