Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
'Rest in peace, baby boy': Community and family members gather at vigil to remember Kyrin Carter

'Rest in peace, baby boy': Community and family members gather at vigil to remember Kyrin Carter

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series

Dozens gather at the Little Calumet River to honor the life of Kyrin Carter.

HAMMOND — "Rest in peace, baby boy."

"We love you, Kyrin."

These are just some of the things that could be heard at the Tuesday night vigil for 12-year-old Kyrin Carter, whose body was found in the Little Calumet River Monday night after going missing ten days ago.

There were tears. There were fireworks. There were pink balloons — Kyrin's favorite color — and people wearing pink T-shirts.

Leslie Carter, Kyrin's dad, was at the vigil with friends and family, including Kyrin's younger sister and two brothers. Over the past week, he said the three kids, ages 6, 4 and 3, kept asking where Kyrin was or if they had found him yet. 

Carter said he was involved with every step of looking for his son. He searched up and down the river countless times and on Tuesday evening, he said, he feels "numb to the world."

Carter lives in Gary and said he knows many of the people who were at the vigil and who helped look for Kyrin. He said he appreciates the love and help from everyone. 

People were coming and going over a few hours, but 75 people or so came to pay tribute to the 12-year-old. Many of those in attendance didn't know Kyrin, but were community members who had spent their time helping to look for him over the past week. 

Carlos and Elizabeth Velazquez, of Hammond, stood next to a blue cross adorned with flowers and a stuffed animal and got emotional as they talked about Kyrin and the search to find him. The husband and wife said they were out every day looking for him, sometimes twice a day. 

"Why sit home when we could go out and do something," Elizabeth said.

She said they have two grandsons who are autistic. They were devastated when they heard about Kyrin's body being found Monday night, but said the vigil Tuesday may offer some closure. 

Hammond residents Linda Cortez and Renee Howard were dressed in pink shirts and held heart-shaped balloons Tuesday night. They didn't know Kyrin, but heard pink was his favorite color. They are both mothers and said they were out most days helping to look for him. Cortez said she has a nephew with autism and a similar situation almost happened with him, so the search for Kyrin especially hit home for her. 

The two were at the river Monday night when Kyrin was found and described it as "devastating."

Along with the balloons placed at various spots along the water's edge, dozens of balloons were released into the air at once, fireworks were set off and a single yellow paper lantern was sent off into the night sky.


Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Education Reporter

AnnMarie Hilton is an education reporter for The Times. She grew up in a Chicago suburb and studied journalism at Northwestern University. Before coming to The Times, she worked as a business reporter in Wisconsin.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News


Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts