The missing autisic 14-year-old boy, Avonte Oquendo, has been M.I.A. for more than 4 weeks now. Commissioner Ray Kelly gave statement that he was becoming more and more unhopeful that police officers would not find the boy alive but now the commissioner is eating his words as it’s a possibility the boy is still alive, and still on the move.
This past Tuesday (Oct 29th), a photo taken by a 13 year old boy shows someone resembling Avonte riding the E or F train. The 13 year old, whose name and identity is unknown, was riding the train home when he noticed someone that looked like Avonte, and approached him. He asked “Are you Avonte?”, and when the person did not respond, the boy snatched a picture on his phone before exiting the train at his stop. The boy later posted the photo of the person suspected to be Avonte staring straight ahead and wearing a beige jacket and green khaki pants to his Facebook page, sources at the Daily News said. An administrator from the good Samaritan’s school saw the image and alerted police, who are now investigating.
If this picture is indeed Avonte, the family is more than hopeful that he can be found and returned home. The father of Avonte reviewed the photo, but cannot identify if that is his son. He released a statement to the press that although the resemblance is there, they would like speak to the boy that snapped the picture to learn more details.
Avonte has a fascination with trains, and police believe the boy is riding trains back and forth, so that’s where their investigation will be the most thorough. The reward for Avonte’s return has reached a whopping $85,000 so whoever finds the boy and brings him to police, will receive a grand thank you from the city & family. The boy in question who took the photo has not spoken to the press, so there’s no reason why he did not make the decision to find the nearest officer and report a possible finding. I guess he didn’t want to cash in.
Outside of the money, Avonte has been missing for more than a month, and many began to think he might not be alive. With these new developments, there is hope the boy will be returned home and many questions will be answered. If you see Avonte or anyone looking similar to missing boy, report the last sighting to the nearest police officer, or transit worker. Let’s bring this boy home!