GASTONIA, N.C. (WTVD) -- Following the devastating announcement that police believe they found the body of 6-year-old Maddox Ritch, the community is mourning.
Families gathered Thursday night to pray for the boy, who had autism and was nonverbal.
Investigators believe they found the boy's body Thursday afternoon, a little more than one mile from where his father had last seen him.
Investigators said the child was partially submerged in a creek, but that it was too soon to tell if foul play was involved.
The medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy to identify the body.