Body of Missing Autistic 6-Year-Old North Carolina Boy Found in a Creek

A body believed to be that of a 6-year-old boy with special needs who went missing in North Carolina over the weekend was found Thursday in a creek near the park where he was last seen, authorities said.

Authorities have notified the parents of the boy, Maddox Ritch, FBI special agent Jason Kaplan said at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

Ritch, who has autism and is nonverbal, went missing at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia on Saturday, police have said. He was last seen by his father and another adult.

“The investigation is not over,” Kaplan told reporters, adding that law enforcement officials still want to speak with people who were in the park.

The body was found partially submerged in the creek by a member of a team of 15 searchers, Gastonia fire chief Phil Welch said at the news conference.

The depth of the creek was about two to three feet, Kaplan told reporters.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Daniel Arkin