The search was centered on Temple Crest Park, 8116 N 37th St., which sits on the Hillsborough River.
Police and a family member said Armani Pierce, who turns 3 in December, took off as his mom, Alicia Sanders, 24, was loading the car to leave the park after practice about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday.
“We want to find him and bring him home to his family,” police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said late Tuesday.
Tampa police, Tampa Fire Rescue and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission were leading the effort. A police bloodhound tried to track the boy, and officers were going door-to-door and checking in with registered sex offenders in the area.