Maddox Ritch missing

[LISTEN] Park employee calls 911 about missing autistic boy, later says dad ‘didn’t act like a concerned parent’

Federal investigators released an audio clip from the initial call to authorities last week reporting the disappearance of a 6-year-old North Carolina boy.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maddox Ritch vanished Saturday afternoon while he and his family were at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia.

The missing boy, who reportedly has autism, was last seen with his father, Ian Ritch, and another adult before apparently wandering off.

According to WSOC, a park employee, Rick Foxx, called 911 after the elder Ritch communicated the emergency.

The experience has stuck with the park employee since that day, he told reporters.

“The dad approached me and said he lost his kid,” Foxx recalled. “I said, ‘When is the last time you seen him?’ He said that the kids, they were coming around the track, and the kid got away from him.”

In his call to the police dispatcher, he said it had been about an hour since the boy disappeared, adding that those at the scene had “searched everywhere” for him.

According to Foxx, he instructed the father to remain near the park office while he drove a golf cart around the perimeter to look for the missing boy.

Ian Ritch was with another adult at the time of the disappearance, and the boy’s mother arrived on the scene a short time later.

“The mother was really frantic,” Foxx later said. “She was hysterical.”

Ian Ritch, however, reacted differently, according to the park employee.

“He didn’t act like a concerned parent, like I would act, or any concerned parent would act,” Foxx claimed.