Tampa police find toddler's body in river - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa police find toddler's body in river

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa police say they found a missing toddler's body in the Hillsborough River Wednesday morning, about a ¼ mile away from where he disappeared.

Armani Pierce, 2, vanished from Temple Crest Park on 37th Street North Tuesday night around 8 o'clock.  It happened right after the Tampa Bay Ravens wrapped up their practice.  Armani's 6-year-old brother is on one of the teams.  His 4-year-old sister is a cheerleader.

A bloodhound alerted officers to a specific spot along the riverbank, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said at a news conference Wednesday morning.  They got the boy's scent off his car seat.  Dive teams went in the river at daybreak and found Armani's body in an area about six-feet deep.

"Everybody that's a parent, this is your absolute worst nightmare," said Castor.  "We did everything we could to ensure that there was a positive outcome to this and, unfortunately, that's not the way that it ended."

Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tampa Fire Rescue, and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers searched along the riverbank and though the neighborhood overnight.  Dozens of Armani's relatives and friends helped pass out flyers with his picture.  Tampa Police also went door to door Tuesday night to check on all registered sexual offenders in the area.

Related story: 08/14/2013 Search continues for the missing Tampa toddler

The Tampa Bay Ravens are hosting a vigil Wednesday night.  They're also dedicating tonight's practice to the 2-year-old.

"If you've got kids, hug your kids today," said Tampa Bay Ravens spokesman Jay Tillman.  "Go home, sit down, explain to your kids when you're in public, somewhere with mommy or daddy, stay with your family."

The vigil is Wednesday night from 6 to 8 where the boy's body was found, near the intersection of N. Renfrew Place and N. River View Ave.

Stay with wfla.com for updates on this story.

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