TAMPA -- Tampa Police continued their search overnight for a 2-year-old boy that went missing from an area park Tuesday night.
According to police, the toddler ran off around 8 p.m. while the family was watching a football practice at Temple Crest Park, located at 8116 37th Street North. Officials said the boy's mother had begun packing up the car to leave when he vanished.
The boy, Armani Pierce, was near the stands with his family before disappearing. Police say Pierce was wearing a grey t-shirt, dark blue basketball shorts, and white Nike shoes. He has a scar on his top left ear.
Crews are searching by land, air, and water for the little boy. Officials said they are concerned because the practice field is located near the Hillsborough River. Officials said the search will ramp up at daylight.
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Family members and friends searched on their own for about a half an hour before calling police.
Officers conducted grid searches of the entire neighborhood, walking with flashlights and going door-to-door. In addition, police searched by helicopter using heat seeking cameras to detect if the boy was hiding or sleeping somewhere in the brush near the river.
"Someone told her (the child's mother) the direction he ran. She searched briefly, went back and told the coach, and the coach called 911," said Tampa Police spokesperson Andrea Davis.
Officers on foot also went door-to-door, checking on sexual predators in the area. There is no evidence the child was abducted, however. Dozens of volunteers also turned out to assist in the search.
"Any child that goes missing is scary, but this is a 2-year-old," Davis said. "Because of his young age, he's obviously not totally aware of his surrounding...we're using heat seeking technology...we just hope we can find him."
Police also are using a bloodhound to try and pick up the boys scent.
"We believe in God and we believe that things will come together," said family friend Thomas Simmons. "We're just hoping for a miracle, that's all we can ask. We hope that it's not a bad situation."