The Federal officials in Charlotte announced that the body found near a highway in Gastonia, North Carolina is the missing boy named Maddox Ritch. It can be recalled that the six-year-old boy went missing last Saturday during a trip to a local park along with his father.
“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," FBI Charlotte posted on her Twitter.
©Gastonia Police Department – Facebook
Maddox's disappearance provoked a concentrated search and rescue operation by local police, state police, and the FBI. The authorities partially sapped an 80-acre lake and hurtled more than 150 leads reported through a tip line before the body has been discovered.
Aside from those efforts, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for any information that would help bring Maddox home. The investigators stated that Maddox’s case posed added complications due to his autism and was nonverbal.
Moreover, the officials say that the investigation into Maddox's disappearance and death is "ongoing." The city of Gastonia also posted a tweet that the remains were identified by the local medical examiner’s office.
The authorities are still searching for the two persons of interest in the case: an unnamed male jogger who was in the park the moment Maddox vanished and a photographer who is taking photos of other children wearing costumes.
On Tuesday, Maddox’s Dad, Ian stated in an interview with People that he thought his son “was lost in the woods, now I’m not so sure.”
“They’ve been looking for days and haven’t found anything. I’m starting to worry. It’s been too long. They had so many search and rescue [teams] that they should have found him by now,” he further stated.
Ian formerly described suddenly losing sight of his son throughout what appeared like a normal trip to the park.
“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,” he remembered.
May you rest in peace Maddox. We at Meow Gag are hoping that the investigators will get to the bottom of this case.
Based on materials from Shared