Authorities confirm that body found was missing 6-year-old

This photo provided by the FBI shows Maddox Ritch. Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton announced Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 that officials believed the body searchers found was that of Maddox Ritch. The boy's father said he ran off from him as he and a friend walked at Rankin Lake Park last weekend. Ian Ritch said he couldn't catch up with his son because he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes. (FBI via AP)

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Authorities are confirming that the body found last week in a North Carolina creek was a 6-year-old boy who went missing days earlier.

Gastonia police announced in a statement Monday that the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the body found last week was Maddox Ritch. Police say it’s not clear when autopsy results will be complete.

Police Chief Robert Helton says “work continues to answer every question we can about his tragic death.”

Ian Ritch says his son ran off Sept. 22at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia. He said he couldn’t catch the boy because he has neuropathy in his feet because of diabetes. Maddox’s body was found days later in a creek east of the park. A funeral is set for Friday.

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