Body of missing North Carolina boy found

Body of missing North Carolina boy found

He told reporters that investigators are considering all possibilities, including abduction, according to WBTV.

Shortly after police announced a body had been found Thursday, Gastonia resident Robin Marshburn had tied blue and white balloons to a street sign near the park and placed a teddy bear at its base.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) also joined in the search efforts. "At this time, we have trained search and rescue personnel blanketing the area".

6-year-old Maddox Ritch disappeared while walking with his father and another adult in Rankin Lake Park in North Carolina.

Charlotte FBI also tweeted that the body they found at around 1:00 p.m. Thursday is believed to be that of the missing Gastonia boy with special needs. Maddox's parents have been notified.

The FBI's Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team will report to Rankin Lake Park and be using different equipment than what has been used in previous searches of the water.

The father said Maddox loves to go outdoors. Ritch's son, Maddox, who does not speak, disappeared Saturday while Ritch, his girlfriend, and the boy were Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia. Maddox was about 25 to 30 feet away when he broke into a sprint, Ritch said. With the help of his friend, Ritch searched for his son but couldn't find him. "I couldn't catch up with him", Ian Ritch said. "He got out of my view and that's when I never seen him again".

When CBS questioned Ritch on how a 6-year-old boy could outrun him, Ritch reportedly said he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes, which slows him down when running.

Authorities are draining water from the lake to expose more of the shoreline for examination, and police are contacting businesses around the park to see if they have useful surveillance video, Gastonia police Chief Robert Helton said.

The 911 call released by police Wednesday showed a park employee telling the dispatcher that the boy's parents and officials "searched everywhere" for the child, FOX46 reported.

On Tuesday, the boy's mother, Carrie, tearfully asked anyone who was at the park to call the tip line.

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Carrie Ritch said her son Maddox was her whole world and reason for living.

In a press conference on September 26, Ian Ritch told the media, "I just want my son home".

A neighbor told FOX 46 that his tip helped authorities locate the body believed to be that of 6-year-old Maddox Ritch.

"I'm not eating. I'm not sleeping". He said he just wants his little boy back home. They did talk to the "professional photographer" who was there taking photos of children in costumes.

"We need to know if you saw our blond-haired boy with the orange shirt", Helton said.

"No piece of information is too small".

Nearly a week after he disappeared, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who can help solve this tragic case.

The search for the missing boy, who has autism and is nonverbal, entered its sixth day on Thursday.

The voice of a cartoon character.

How does Maddox's autism affect the search?

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