Massive search underway in North Carolina for missing child with autism

National News

Gastonia, N.C. (WATE) – More than two dozen search and rescue teams including the FBI have joined the search for a missing 6-year-old boy with autism in Gastonia, North Carolina, according to the Gastonia Police Department.

Maddox Ritch, 6, is non-verbal. He was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia wearing orange t-shirt and black shorts.

The City of Gastonia spokesperson told WSOC, the boy’s parents said he took off running and then disappeared.

Hundreds of search and rescue teams and law enforcement have joined in the search in hopes of bringing him home safe and sound.

The Gastonia Police Chief said the boy’s family is cooperating with law enforcement.

Officials say they have searched more than 1,400 acres in and around the park. The Charolette-Mecklenburg Police Department sent a helicopter, searching with infrared technology.

The search will also continue throughout the night. Search crews will continue searching on foot and on ATV’s.

The Charlotte Fire Department also helped with search efforts at a nearby lake.

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