REGO PARK, Queens (PIX11) – Where is an Autistic teen who’s been missing for almost a week? It’s a question that the boy’s family and searchers are wrestling with but so far they have not been able to come up with an answer.
Now a reward is now being offered to anyone who brings about the safe return of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo who in addition to being autistic is unable to speak.
There are reports that the NYPD has doubled the number of people involved in the search. They’ve blanketed Queens and officers were out in force Wednesday in Brooklyn handing out fliers but there is still no sign of the teen who ran away from the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City just after noon last Friday.
Now the founder of the law firm Mayerson and Associates who is also on the board of the non-profit Autism Speaks, Gary Mayerson, is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who brings about his safe return to his parents. The group says it’s common for autistic children to wander. People at the organization say the autism community is very much affected by whats going on and unfortunately wandering for children with autism is a huge issue.
Celebrities are also getting involved. Talk show host Holly Robinson Peete who has an autistic child tweeted, “New Yorkers. Have you seen this boy? Missing since Friday, has autism and is noon verbal. If you see the teen call the crime stoppers tip line. Its 1-800-577- TIPS.”