The NYPD and the family of a missing autistic boy need your help finding him. 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo was last seen on the afternoon of October 4, 2013, on surveillance video running out of his high school in Long Island City. He was by himself, and has not been seen since. Avonte is autistic and does not speak. His mother told CNN that Avonte typically needs to have one-to-one supervision at all times. She said he has the mental capacity of a 7- or 8-year-old.
Needless to say, this boy needs to be found NOW.
According to his family, Avonte loves trains, so an extensive search at the underground rails took place over the weekend. Searches will continue tomorrow, and Avonte’s brother posted on Twitter earlier today that they are in desperate need of search volunteers. If you live in the New York City area, please consider helping if you can. A red tent has been set up in front of the Center Boulevard School, and volunteers, along with at least one of Avonte’s family members, are there 24 hours a day.
If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site, please spread the word about Avonte’s disappearance.
Avonte was last seen wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black shoes. Authorities say that if you do see him, call them first and then follow him, because he may run if you try to approach him too quickly. Anyone with info about Avonte is asked to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. You can also submit tips at nypdcrimestoppers.com,or text to 274637(CRIMES), then enter TIP577.
There’s a $70,000 reward being offered for Avonte’s safe return. The Manhattan Children’s Center, Mayerson & Associates Law Firm, Autism Speaks, and an anonymous donor donated to the reward.
Let’s get this boy home safely!