FBI joins search for boy missing from North Carolina park

September 24, 2018 - 2:38 pm

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — The FBI has joined the search for a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a North Carolina park.

News outlets report authorities say no one has seen Maddox Ritch since he disappeared from Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia on Saturday. The Gaston Gazette reports the boy wandered off while walking around the lake with his family.

According to investigators, Maddox is autistic and is non-verbal.

More than two dozen agencies, including the FBI, are now involved in the search. Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton said searchers are "checking every area, every trail, every corner."

The park was closed to the public Sunday, and Helton asked people in a news release to stay away from the area unless they're involved with the official search.

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