Authorities find body of missing Gastonia boy

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For nearly a week, authorities had been on the lookout for Maddox Ritch, a 6-year-old Gastonia boy who got lost when he ran away from his father at Rankin Lake Park last weekend. The story of Maddox’s disappearance — complicated by the fact that he was nonverbal because of a diagnosis of Autism —  even became national news. On Thursday afternoon, though, the search sadly came to an end when his body was reportedly found off Marietta Street/Old Dallas Hwy. Hundreds of folks were involved in the investigation, including the FBI, and his parents made emotional pleas for help on various media outlets. A news conference Thursday afternoon didn’t reveal much more information, and the FBI supervisor said it’s still too early to know whether foul play could have been involved. Man, were we hoping for a happy ending.