Facebook effort underway in autistic teen search - My9 New Jersey

Facebook effort underway in autistic teen search

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MYFOXNY.COM - A rally is planned to help spread the word about a missing autistic teen from Queens.

Avonte Oquendo, 14, walked out of his school in Long Island City two weeks ago and hasn't been seen since.

A Facebook page has been created to share information about search efforts.

School security video shows Oquendo moments before he disappeared at about 12:30 pm on Oct.4. His family has said a school security guard should have stopped him.

"We see nothing at this juncture that the conduct of the school safety agent was inappropriate," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly earlier this week.

The agent directs the boy to walk upstairs but he takes off through a side door, added Kelly.

"He should have followed by his job code. He failed," said Anthony Fontaine, Avonte's brother.

"What I thought as soon as I met Vanessa (Avonte's mother) was that this cannot happen absent either an inappropriate system or negligently drawn up system or negligence on the part of someone at the school," said family attorney David Perecman.

They have filed a notice of claim against the Center Boulevard School.

“His two IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) say the same thing: Avonte needs constant supervision and during transitions from class to class he runs off,” said Perecman.

"Every day we feel like today is the day. We're still trying to stay strong. At least 24 hours a day we have someone out here keeping an eye on our tent," said Danny Oquendo, Avonte's brother.

The family set up a makeshift command center outside the school.

Police have combed the area surrounding the Center Boulevard School including the Newtown Creek which separates Queens and Brooklyn.

A reward fund for information leading to Avonte's safe return has reached $70,000, including $50,000 from an anonymous donation to the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is hosting a call to action Saturday from 9 am - 11 am at 106 West 145th Street.







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