The funeral for 6-year-old Maddox Ritch, who went missing from a Gastonia park on Sept. 22 and whose body was found Thursday, will be held in Huntersville at the end of the week, according to his obituary.
Visitation will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home, the obituary said, and the service will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the funeral home’s chapel. The burial will be private.
Maddox’s obituary echoed some of what his parents told reporters during the five days he was missing, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped with an extensive search effort around Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia.
“Maddox was a sweet and loving little boy who was full of laughter,” the obituary said. “He loved Paw Patrol, his Teddy, playing with his bouncy balls, but above all he loved his mom and dad the most.”
Maddox lived in Mooresville, according to the obituary, and his father said he went to school in Concord.
His body was found midday Thursday in Long Creek, downstream from Rankin Lake, investigators said. His father had told investigators Maddox ran out of sight on the path around Rankin Lake and disappeared.
On Friday, investigators continued to urge witnesses to come forward. It is not yet clear how Maddox got to Long Creek and whether foul play was involved, FBI special agent Jason Kaplan said after Maddox’s body was found.