Funeral planned for Maddox Ritch, ‘sweet and loving little boy’ whose disappearance prompted massive search

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Maddox Ritch

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – The funeral has been planned for Maddox Ritch, the 6-year-old boy with special needs who went missing from a Gastonia park and was found dead after a massive, 6-day search.

The visitation takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home at 16901 Old Statesville Road in Huntersville, according to the obituary.

The funeral takes place at 11 a.m. Friday in the same funeral home’s chapel. The burial will be private.

“Maddox was a sweet and loving little boy who was full of laughter,” his obituary read, in part. “He loved Paw Patrol, his Teddy, playing with his bouncy balls, but above all he loved his mom and dad the most.”

Maddox Ritch disappeared at Rankin Lake Park on Sept. 22 after his father said he ran out of sight. Authorities said they believed they found the boy’s body Thursday in Long Creek near the park.

Maddox was described as nonverbal and autistic. The FBI and numerous other agencies had spent nearly a week looking for him.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.