Avonte Oquendo, 14, has been missing since last Friday when he ran from his school in Long Island City, N.Y. The teen, who is autistic and non-verbal, has not been seen since. WABC shared the latest details on Oct. 10.
The teen's family is desperately searching for the young boy, and the police have kept a heavy presence in the area of the Center Boulevard School Avonte attends. Avonte's older brother Danny has been tirelessly searching and organizing volunteer efforts.
Danny has been reaching out to volunteers via his Instagram, Twitter and GoFundMe pages sharing updates and search opportunities. He has noted that the funds donated via the GoFundMe page are being used for things like round-trip bus passes and metro cards to give volunteers the opportunity to help look for Avonte.
Previously whenever Avonte Oquendo has wandered off, his family indicates, he has been found on the subway. Volunteers and police are focusing on the area around the school and the subway, but so far Avonte has yet to be found.
Many wonder how Avonte Oquendo was able to run away from the Center Boulevard School. His departure was captured on surveillance video, but until now little had been said about the specifics other than that he typically had a one-on-one paraprofessional with him. WABC indicates that a school security guard did see Oquendo leave the building, and even spoke with him briefly as he left. However, the guard allegedly did not notify the family until an hour after Oquendo left. The family and their attorney have indicated they likely will file a claim regarding the incident, but for now their focus is on finding Avonte.
Avonte Oquendo was last seen wearing black jeans, a gray-striped shirt and black sneakers. He is 5'3” tall and weighs about 125 pounds. Again, he has autism and is non-verbal. If anybody has any information on this young boy they are encouraged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.