‘This Child is Still With Us:' Family Continues Search for Missing 12-Year-Old in Hammond

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For a fifth day, police, parents and volunteers continued to search for a 12-year-old boy who was reported missing over the weekend in suburban Hammond.

Kyrin Carter, who is on the autism spectrum, was last seen at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Best Western, located on 179th Street near Interstate 80/94, according to police. Surveillance footage captured Kyrin, who was wearing a blue short-sleeve shirt, blue shorts and no shoes, walking away from the hotel.

Hammond police say they’ve followed up on two potential sightings, but neither ultimately led to the return of Carter to his family.

Dozens of volunteers have continued that search, and the boy’s parents and family are still hopeful that they will find him safely.

“This child is still with us,” Lisa Daniels Henderson, the boy’s aunt, said. “He is just hiding. He is scared.”

The volunteers are searching on both land and in the water for the boy, with his family saying that a potential footprint located in mud near the hotel could be a positive sign that he is still nearby.

The mother of a 12-year-old boy with autism who disappeared from a Hammond, Indiana, hotel issued an emotional plea for his safe return Monday as authorities continued to search for the boy for a third day in a row. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez reports.

“It hits the heart. It hits home,” volunteer Frank Ashenbaugh said. “These kids are very special, and we are hopeful he will be returned to his parents.”

Tracie Manka, another volunteer, says she drove 90 minutes to help search.

“I know he is thirsty and hungry, and I just pray to God that we find him and he is healthy,” she said. “I just pray everything will turn out okay.”

According to authorities, Kyrin was traveling with his mother Danielle Duckworth for a family gathering when he went missing.

Since Saturday, police have deployed a helicopter, drones and K-9 units in their efforts to find the missing boy.

According to Kyrin’s family, he has always been attracted to water, and as a result search crews have been keeping a close eye on the nearby Calumet River.

Anyone who sees the boy is asked to call 911 immediately.

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