Authorities in North Carolina are playing recorded messages from the parents of a missing 6-year-old with autism in an attempt to find him.
Maddox Ritch disappeared from Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia on Saturday. Officials are hoping that hearing his parents' voices will persuade him to come out if he’s still in the area, FBI Special Agent Jason Kaplan said Monday.
Maddox, who is also nonverbal, disappeared while walking in the park with his father and another adult. He reportedly ran ahead of them and vanished.
"We're going to explore all possibilities, including abduction, but we're also going to make sure we search every inch of land around here to make sure that he's not simply lost," Special Agent Jason Kaplan told reporters Sunday.
The identity of Maddox’s mom and dad has not been released by authorities, and they have reportedly asked for privacy.
Maddox is described as white, with blond hair and blue eyes. He’s 4 feet tall and weighs about 45 pounds.
He was last seen wearing an orange T-shirt with “I am the man” written on it and black shorts with a white stripe.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Gastonia police tip line at 704-869-1075.