Funeral plans for Maddox Ritch, the 6-year-old boy with autism who was found dead after a five-day search following his disappearance from a North Carolina park have been announced.
“Maddox was a sweet and loving little boy who was full of laughter,” his obituary reads. “He loved Paw Patrol, his Teddy, playing with his bouncy balls, but above all he loved his mom and dad the most.”
According to his obituary, a visitation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, at the Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville, North Carolina. His funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. the following day in the chapel of the funeral home. The burial will be a private service for immediate friends and family members only.
Maddox’s memory will continue to live in the minds of his loving parents, Carrie and Ian, his grandparents, Lynn Ritch and Freddie, and Elaine and Joseph Paccione, and several aunts, uncles, and extended family members.
Maddox was last seen walking with his father at Gastonia’s Rankin Lake Park on September 22 when he took off running and disappeared out of sight.
“I was terrified. I didn’t know which direction he went so I looked as hard as I could, I went different ways and everything,” Maddox’s father told People.
“I tried to find him. I don’t know where he went. Usually when he takes off running he’ll slow down and stop for me to catch up with him. This time he never stopped.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the case is currently being investigated as authorities continue to try to figure out what happened to Maddox after he disappeared. The most recent lead on the case includes a woman coming forward to confirm that she did see Maddox in the park the day he vanished. This new piece of information contradicts employees and other park patrons who had reported not seeing the boy in the park that day.
Dozens of law enforcement agencies – including the FBI – spent days searching for Maddox before his body was discovered in a few feet of water in Long Creek, which was located just a mile to the east of where he had originally vanished.
In a very heart wrenching Facebook post, Ian thanked those who helped search for his boy before opening up about the realization of no longer being a father and never being a father again. He concluded his post begging parents not to make his mistake of letting his son get away from him.
Rest in peace, Maddox.