Funeral services set for boy with autism who went missing at park

GASTONIA, N.C. — Funeral services have been set for a 6-year-old North Carolina boy who went missing at a park and was found dead after an extensive search.

According to an obituary, a visitation for Maddox Ritch will be held Thursday at a funeral home in Huntersville, followed by a funeral service the next day. The burial will be private.

The boy’s father has said Maddox ran off as he and a friend walked at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia Sept. 22. Ian Ritch has said he couldn’t catch up with his son, who had autism, because he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes.

Maddox’s body was found in a creek slightly more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) east of the park after days of searching. An investigation is ongoing.

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