Despite conflicting reports, 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, who has autism, is still missing.
His family says he has the mind of a 7-year-old and cannot verbally communicate. There were initial reports from the boy’s older brother that he was found this afternoon in Harlem, but police could not confirm it was Oquendo.
The teen was last seen on surveillance video running out of Center Boulevard School in Long Island City at around 12:45 p.m. Friday afternoon.
When PIX 11 reached out the principal of the school, she refused to comment when asked how a child with autism could simply leave the school unattended, without anyone noticing.
According to police, the boy was most recently spotted Monday Night in a diner in Astoria Queens but reportedly left.
The NYPD says they are actively searching subway stations because the boy is fascinated with trains. Police have also been using loudspeakers to ask residents in various neighborhoods to be on watch for the boy, while Oquendo’s family and community members have been handing out posters.
A statewide missing child alert was issued for Oquendo on Monday. Oquendo, is 5-foot-3 and about 90 pounds, he was wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers. Anyone who may have spotted him is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPSAlertMe