Body of Kyrin Carter, Missing Autistic Boy Who Disappeared From Best Western Hotel, Found in Indiana River

A body found in the Little Calumet River in Hammond, Indiana, has been identified at Kyrin Carter. 

The 12-year-old was autistic, and although he was nonverbal, he was highly functional.

A body found in the Little Calumet River in Hammond, Indiana, has been identified at Kyrin Carter.  According to ABC 7 Chicago, the 12-year-old disappeared on May 15 from a Best Western hotel. He was from Kansas City, Missouri, but was in town to visit family. They add he was autistic, and although he was nonverbal, he was highly functional.

Eric Smith, a volunteer kayaker, was one of the many who set out to find Carter. “I looked at it because if it was my daughter I would want somebody out there giving their all, but I kept thinking it was a lost kid, and we gotta find him," he said.

In addition, dive teams, helicopters, horses, volunteers and dogs searched the area. At one point, the dogs picked up a scent near the river, but it was in an area where the water was murky and cold.

It would ultimately be Eric Smith who would find Carter.

He’d kayaked for five hours before he found the body in the river Monday evening. It was located about 300 feet from where Carter initially went missing, and a dive team was able to recover it.

Police stated that while searching for the child, multiple agencies made the decision to temporarily stop the flow of water into the Little Calumet River to try to get deep into the river. They add that that had never been done before.

Kyrin Carter’s cause of death is still pending.

Surveillance footage of Carter on the hotel camera show him leaving. There was also footage of him running towards the river picked up by nearby businesses. Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. added that the boy had run down to Little Calumet River the day before he disappeared, but that time was caught.

Since the incident, many locals have stopped by the river to leave flowers, including Melissa Clark and her two kids. "It was just me and my kids, kind of like some closure I suppose, closure on it because when I heard last night I didn't sleep," she told ABC 7 Chicago. "I didn't get any sleep, and I know that a lot of people around here feel the same way."

Since the incident, Kyrin Carter’s family has been too upset to speak. But McDermott has extended condolences to them. And although it isn’t the ended he hoped for, he said he’s glad there was closure.

Kyrin's aunt has created a GoFundMe for the family. There is also a petition online for hotels to provide locks or door alarms for people with disabilities. 

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