Family of missing Avonte Oquendo still hopeful as search continues

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QUEENS (PIX11) – As night fell on the eighth day of Queens boy Avonte Oquendo’s disappearance, his family remained resolute and hopeful.

At the command center set up near the school he disappeared from, volunteers and relatives continued the search.

“He’s smart, he just has an issue with talking. He’s a major part of the household,” said Daniel Oquendo.

Daniel Oquendo is tirelessly searching for his baby boy. The pain is excruciating, but he keeps on going.

It was week ago that 14-year-old Avente Oquendo went missing apparently walking of his Queens school. He is autistic and unable to communicate. The family has filed a notice of claim against the city and intends to file a lawsuit over the loss of their son. The family is also alleging that it took 45 minutes for the school to notify police. The DOE said it is working with the NYPD.

On Friday night, dozens held candles at a vigil for the family.

As night fell, a crew of volunteers continued to search. There were tears and there was anger, but more than anything there was hope for Avonte Oquendo.