The boy's mother said the past few days have been a blur and she simply wants her son back in her arms.
Their family arrived in Hammond just days ago from Kansas City, Missouri to visit his relatives in Indiana.
Video footage from the hotel shows the boy, Kyrin Carter, leaving the hotel located in the 3800 block of 179th Street around 12:30 p.m. It appears he was wearing blue shorts with possibly blue or white stripes, a blue t-shirt, but was not wearing socks or shoes, police said.
Now, the whole family is vowing to search for the beloved little boy until he is back safe with his mother.
"He's my whole world. He means everything to me," said Carter's mom Danielle Duckworth, as she pleads with the public to help find her son. "Everything that I do is for him, everything."
Hammond police officers searched for the boy all Saturday night, with the fire department on standby. However, the boy is still missing, and a public safety alert went out early Sunday morning asking for the public's help finding him.
"I'm used to him being next to me all the time. When I'm not at work, he's right there," she said after a long day of searching for her son.
Police from multiple agencies, including the Porter County Search and Rescue team, along with their K9s, responded to help look for the child. A helicopter, divers and boats are also assisting in the search, as well as the Crown Point Water Rescue Team.
"We've had canine drones and the helicopters, and everything you can imagine out here," said Lieutenant Steve Kellogg with the Hammond Police Department. "Everybody's out here doing whatever they can."
The Department of Natural Resources is also using sonar to check the Little Calumet River, which runs behind the hotel where the boy was last seen.
"Until our efforts have been fully exhausted anyway, we're going to keep trying," Lt. Kellogg said.
Carter is described as a Black male with light skin, according to police. Officials said he is non-verbal but is highly functional.
"We haven't done any credible phone calls which probably tells us that he's stayed within those confines and it hasn't hit the public area too much," Lt. Kellogg said.
The search has drawn more than 80 volunteers, all hoping to find and safely bring home this 12-year-old boy.
"I mean, I got kids myself, so I can't even imagine it actually happening," said volunteer search Natalie Aldana. "It hurts. It really does suck. I couldn't imagine it."
"Don't approach him. Call 911 if you see him," Lt. Kellogg advised. "Keep maintaining a visual on him. You know, he's gonna be really, really scared and he's just going to want his mom, so just kind of keep a visual and call us right away."
Carter's mom asks that anyone who does encounter her son to approach with caution. She said it might be helpful to mention the boy's cousins Keontae, Jada, Quincy or Janea. She also said mentioning "Danielle has chicken nuggets," which is his favorite food, could also help keep him calm until officials arrive.
"I just want my baby back. He belongs with all this family," Duckworth said. "He don't belong where he may be. He belong to his family."
Anyone with information is asked to call 911.