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Local celebrities join in search for Avonte Oquendo

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LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (PIX11) –  There will be no rest in Long Island City while 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo is still missing. The time is taking a toll on his family, friends and volunteers desperately searching for him.  Avonte’s father remains strong, optimistic and hopeful.

Avonte’s father remains strong, optimistic and hopeful.

“No.  I’m not concerned at all,” Mr. Oquendo said on Friday.  “All I know is my son is missing, and I hope he’s okay, and I’m positive we’re going to find him.”

A local celebrity in the hip-hop community, Ralph McDaniels, and a community advocate joined the search as well, and called everyone to action. Avonte went missing Oct 4, last seen on surveillance video running from the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City.

That neighborhood in Queens being developed, with dozens of construction projects and multimillion dollar homes. Police, relatives and volunteers are now trying to find out where the teen may have gone after disappearing from the view of school surveillance cameras.
Oquendo, who has a fascination with trains, may have gone into the subway at some point, police believed.  Searches inside the tunnels have so far come up empty; volunteers have plastered wanted or missing posters throughout the subway system.
If you see Avonte or have any information on where he might be, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.