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Police: Missing boy was at North Carolina park before death

October 3, 2018

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina have confirmed that a missing boy whose body was found by searchers had actually been at a park where his father said he ran off and disappeared.

Gastonia police said on their Facebook page Wednesday that public support and multiple investigations helped police build a timeline to confirm that Maddox Ritch was at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia as his father, Ian Ritch, said at a news conference last week.

The father said his son ran off from him Sept. 22. He said he couldn’t catch the boy because he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes. Maddox’s body was found days later in a creek east of the park. A funeral is set for Friday.

Rankin Lake Park reopened to the public Wednesday.

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