Maddox Ritch, the 6-year-old boy who was found dead in a Gaston County creek in September, died from a probable drowning, according to autopsy results.
Ethanol and isopropanol were both found in his system, but this is believed to be the result of body decomposition.
Weeks after the boy was found dead, investigators told the public they were still committed to finding out what happened to Maddox.
The case has tugged at the heartstrings of the Gastonia community and the nation.
Maddox was at Rankin Lake Park with his father and another person on Sept. 22 when the boy ran off, according to his father, Ian Ritch.
Ritch said his son often ran ahead of him and then would slow down and wait for him to catch up. But on that Saturday, the boy, who had autism and was nonverbal, ran too far ahead and Ian Ritch lost sight of him.
The boy’s disappearance prompted a massive search involving crews from multiple agencies, and after a 6-day search of Rankin Lake Park and surrounding areas, his body was found in Long Creek.
Several park visitors told WSOC they’re anxiously waiting to find out what investigators determine happened to Maddox.
“We need to know about his autopsy, so we can have closure. If there was no foul play involved, we need to know that,” said Jack Griffin.
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