Searchers: We’ll keep looking for missing boy, even if NYPD scales back

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LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (PIX11) — While the NYPD may be scaling back the search for a 14-year-old boy with autism who vanished almost three weeks ago, volunteers looking for the child say they plan to continue the hunt “full force.”

“The family and the community, we are not scaling back. We are going 100 percent. When the police scale back that’s when we go full force,” said Calvin Hunt, who told PIX11 he has been searching since day one.

It has been 18 days since 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo walked out of his Queens school.

The NYPD has deployed a massive effort to find the teenager. They’ve searched neighborhoods, the water off Queens and rail yards. But Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday they may begin to scale back the search this week.

“We’re still devoting a lot of resources to the search. We’ll have to make adjustments as far as the deployment of the amount of resources that we have. We’ll probably do that during the week if we are unsuccessful,” Kelly said.

But in addition to the police effort, New Yorkers and people from across the country have joined the search for Avonte.