Avonte Oquendo subway sighting: Hope renewed in search for missing autistic boy
Avonte Oquedo disappeared almost four weeks ago. The 14-year-old boy with autism is nonverbal and was last seen on video footage leaving the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City, Queens on October 4. Since then, the New York City Police Department and hundreds of voluteers have been searching for him to no avail. On Tuesday a 13-year-old riding either the E of F train saw someone that closely resembled Avonte. He went up to the boy and tried to engage him in conversation to no avail. He even asked him if he was Avonte. Right before getting off the train the 13-year-old snapped a photo and later posted it on Facebook. So was it Avonte?
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Neither police nor family members can be sure of whether the boy photographed is indeed Avonte, but the resemblence is so strong that it is being considered a possibility. Avonte aslo has a fasination with trains. Up until now police have chased down close to 500 leads. Hopefully, this is the one that leads them to the missing boy.
Avonte's mother, Vanessa Fontaine, was not convinced that the photo taken on the subway was of her son, but she said, "I don't celebrate yet, but I'm saying keep hope alive. There's hope there that it may be him."
If the boy pictured in the photo is indeed Avonte, the family says that would mean that someone had given him all new clothes and put him on the train.
My heart goes out to Avonte's family and I hope that very soon they find out what happened to him. It has got to be absolute torture for them.
Images via Facebook