Body believed to be that of missing boy found in N.Carolina
Search crews have found a body be lieved to be that of Maddox Ritch the 6 -year-old boy who has been missing since Saturday, Gastonia police said Thursday.
The body was found at… Authorities announced a news conference in Gastonia for 4 p.m. Thursday. Maddox Ritch was last seen at mid day Saturday at Rankin Lake Park. The boy, who is autistic and nonverbal with strangers, was with his father and an- other adult at the time.
Ian Ritch the boy’s father, told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he last saw his son running and laughing at the park. Maddox then started running after spotting a jogger on the trial around the lake, Ritch said, and continued out of sight.
Ritch, who said he has foot pain because of diabetes, said he ran after his son but couldn’t find him. “I just want my son home, Ritch said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, according to a Gastonia police news release. “It’s torture.” Earlier Thursday, police said They wanted to speak with a young man who was using the park’s boat ramp near the time Maddox was last seen.
The appeal for that potential witness came as the FBI s Under Water Search and Evidence Response Team searched the lake with sonar and agents trained “to locate even the smallest possible piece of evidence underwater, Gastonia police said in a statement.
North Carolina Emergency Management teams have also arrived to broaden the search into marshlands and the dense woods surrounding the park, the police department said. Police said the potential witness they’re now trying to find had backed his truck to the lake’s boat ramp and appeared to be loading a silver kayak Saturday.
The truck was described as a large, white, newer model with four doors, oversized tires and running boards. The young white man with it was talking on the phone and wore a camouflaged baseball cap. “He may be a valuable witness, the department’s statement said. Police said they’re also looking for a male jogger who was in the area.