Police: Maddox Ritch was in Rankin Lake Park before disappearance

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GASTONIA, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Maddox Ritch, the 6-year-old boy who was found dead in Gastonia following a six day search, was in Rankin Lake Park before he disappeared, authorities confirm.

“Public support & multiple investigative means confirm Maddox was at the park,” Gastonia police tweeted Wednesday.

More than 65 agencies helped search for the young boy. Officials are waiting for the autopsy results before an official ruling can be made in his death.

Maddox, who had autism and was non-verbal, went missing while visiting the Rankin Lake Park with his father. His father said the boy wandered off while they were on a walk.

After a six day search, his body was found about a mile away in Long Creek.

Funeral arrangements will be held Thursday at a funeral home in Huntersville, followed by a funeral service the next day. The burial will be private.

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