6-year-old with autism missing from NC park, hundreds help search

National News
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GASTONIA, NC (WSPA) – Police are searching for a missing 6-year-old boy with autism who went missing Saturday at a park in Gastonia, N.C. 

Maddox Scott Ritch is 4 feet tall and was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt with writing “I am the man” and black shorts with a white stripe.

Gastonia police said Ritch disappeared from Rankin Lake Park.

More than 100 people joined in a search, combing over 1,400 acres of the park.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department sent its helicopter Sunday evening to assist in the search.

Crews will continue to patrol areas of the park on foot and with ATVs overnight.

Ritch was still missing as of Monday morning. 

“If you were at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday and saw Maddox or took video or photos of their outing at the park, call us,” said Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton. “We know a lot of people were in the park and we have spoken to many of them, but we have not spoken to everyone. No piece of information is too small. Something you may think is insignificant could be helpful to our case.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance is asked to call 704-869-1075.

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