A body that was found by a kayaker in an industrialized river has been identified as a missing 12-year-old Black boy who went missing earlier this month in Hammond, Indiana.   

According to the Lake County Indiana coroner’s office, the body of Kyrin Carter was found in Little Calumet River in northwest Indiana near a Best Western, officials said Tuesday morning, NBC Chicago reported.  

Around 8:15 p.m. on Monday, Indiana State Police said they were alerted by a volunteer kayaker who said that a body had appeared to be approximately 300 feet from where Carter was last reported seen. Shortly after, a dive team responded to the call and located the body in the water. The body was later confirmed as Carter’s.    

Carter, who is on the autism spectrum, went missing May 15 at approximately 12:30 p.m. near the hotel where he and his mother, Danielle Duckworth, were staying. They were in town from Kansas City, Missouri for an engagement party, according to WGN-TV. Surveillance footage showed Carter leaving the Best Western and walking barefoot toward the area where he was later found.  

Following his disappearance, volunteers and family members immediately went on a mass search which lasted for several days. Last Friday, officials had initially stopped the flow of the river temporarily to help with the search for the body, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Eric Smith, the kayaker who located Carter’s body, said he spent days searching for the boy and hoped his skills as a fisherman would come in handy. 

"I came out here hoping every day to find him, but I didn't think I was actually gonna find him," Smith said Tuesday at the scene. "So then, like, when I spotted him, it hit me different."

Smith said there were many people who joined the search. 

"A lot, a lot of people came together and gave their time. I put a lot of time into his missing case," he said. 

When Carter’s body was identified, Smith said he felt happy for Carter’s family and that finding the boy was what he came to do. 

I felt "happiness that I found him, that I could give the family closure,” he said. 

The circumstances surrounding Carter’s death highlight the death of other children who have autism. In 2013, Avonte Oquendo, who was also on the autism spectrum, walked out of his school in Queens, New York, according to the Daily News. His body was found in the East River. It was later reported that Oquendo drowned in the water. 

"Avonte's Law," which helps track autistic children after running away, was introduced to the Senate in 2014.

An autopsy for Carter has been scheduled to determine the cause of death.