Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead says the alert, known as Levi's Call in Georgia, was activated about 9 a.m. Thursday. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency activated the alert about 9:25 a.m.
Columbus police say Tellious Brown may be with two men who should be considered armed and dangerous. Authorities have no description of the vehicle in which the men may be traveling.
Family members describe Tellious as a light-skinned black toddler who was last seen wearing a white tank top, khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.
The boy was last seen around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Authorities say the boy was with his mother when two men approached them as they got out of a black Buick and pointed a gun at the mother, Lekendra Trice.
The two drove off with the boy still in the car.
Police found the car a short time later. But it was empty.
The FBI has been called in to help look for the child.
Columbus is near the Alabama border, East of Auburn.