A 14-year-old autistic boy who cannot verbally communicate remains missing. Avonte Oquendo was last spotted leaving his Queens school on Friday, October 4th, and police were in Crown Heights last night, asking the public for help.
Police apparently had a tip that Avonte was spotted in the area. According to Crown Heights Info, "Dozens of police officers flooded the area, aided by a helicopter, and searched the entire area for hours. Deputy Inspector John Lewis, the commanding officer of the 71st Precinct, reached out to Gadi Hershkop of Crown Heights Shomrim and enlisted their help. The inspector asked if they can arrange copies of the ‘missing’ flyer to be made, so that they can be distributed to the officers and passersby... At around 10:00pm the search in Crown Heights was formally called off by police. Sources told CrownHeights.info that a review of surveillance video revealed that a boy with a similar description was indeed walking on Brooklyn Avenue, but it was conclusively not the missing boy."
On Tuesday, police believed they had found Avonte in East Harlem. Instead, it turned out to be a different missing boy who is deaf.
Avonte has previously run away and been found in subway station (sometimes on the tracks), so searches have also been focused on the subway system. He's 5'3" and about 125 pounds—and he cannot verbally communicate. Anyone with information in regards to this missing is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577
UPDATE: There's a $5,000 reward for anyone who helps bring Avonte back to his family safely.