Tampa police divers found the body of 2-year-old Armani Pierce in the Hillsborough River on Wednesday morning, bringing a tragic end to an overnight search that began after the child went missing at Temple Crest Park.

Police said the toddler ran off around 8 p.m. while the family was watching a football practice at the park, located at 8116 37th Street North. Officials said the boy's mother had begun packing up the car to leave when he vanished.

Armani Pierce was near the stands with his family before disappearing.

Police found his body in the river a short distance from where the child went missing. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor arrived on the scene early Wednesday and met with the family after the discovery was made.

"He (Armani) was here at the park with his mother, brother and sister," Chief Castor said. "As practice ended about 8:30, the mother was gathering up the kids and getting ready to go home. That's when Armani wandered off."

Crews searched by land, air, and water overnight for the little boy. Officials quickly expressed concern about the proximity of the river.

Family members and friends searched on their own for about 1 1/2 hours before calling police.

"Whenever there is a report of a missing child, we send out all of our available resources," Castor said.

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 whether the boy was hiding or sleeping somewhere in the brush near the river.

Officers on foot also went door-to-door, checking on sexual predators in the area. Dozens of volunteers also turned out to assist in the search.

Ultimately, police bloodhounds were able to focus on a scent near the river.

"Bloodhounds alerted us to a specific area along the riverbank," Castor said. "Officers searched there yesterday. Today at daybreak, divers were able to go in and they found the body in about six feet of water.

"It's a very tragic situation. The majority of the time kids are missing, we find them immediately. This is every parent's nightmare. Unfortunately, for the parents, they are having to deal with the death of their 2-year-old right now."

The youth football team the family was watching when the child disappeared will hold a candlelight vigil for him Wednesday at 6 p.m. The vigil will be held near the shore where his body was found, which is located by the intersection of 37th Street and E. Seaward.