Mother Makes Emotional Plea in Search For 6-Year-Old Maddox Ritch

GASTONIA, N.C. – The mother of six-year-old Maddox Ritch made an emotional plea Tuesday for help finding her son.

“Maddox is my whole world and my reason for living. He’s mama’s boy,” Carrie Ritch said.

The FBI is now offering a $10,000 reward in the case.

“I would appreciate it, if you were at the park Saturday and saw Maddox, to please, urgently please, call the tip line, please,” Ritch said.

His father Ian Ritch says the boy ran ahead of him and another adult. That’s the last time he’s been seen.

“The facts that we have right now is that he was at the park, we feel like he was at the park,” said Chief Robert Helton, with the Gastonia Police Department.

Maddox’s father worked with investigators Tuesday to retrace his steps. Crews scour the 250-acre park twice a day – on foot, in the air, and in the water.

They continue to lower a 12-and-a-half foot deep lake.

A few miles away in Dallas, investigators confirmed a search at the Gaston County landfill.

At a vigil near the search scene Tuesday night, people in the community say they’re still holding out hope.

“All we can do is pray and keep hope alive and let the police do their job,” says Belmont resident Kara Smart.