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Reward increased to $70K for missing boy, gone for over a week



Oct. 12, 2013 ABC NEWs

The desperate search for Avonte Oquendo continues, as the reward was increased to $70,000 for information leading to his safe return.

On Thursday, the Manhattan Children’s Center, a not-for-profit private autism school, had matched the $5,000 put up Wednesday by the law firm Mayerson & Associates. Then on Friday, Autism Speaks and an anonymous donor upped that reward to $70,000.

As the search entered a week on Friday, there are few clues to his possible whereabouts. Friday evening, the police and volunteers spent the evening searching the subway system.

A red tent has now been set up in front of the Center Boulevard School, where Oquendo disappeared from last Friday, to make the search more of a 24-hour operation. Volunteers, including at least one family member, are staffing it around the clock.

“We’re just out here trying to give out as much information as we can to anyone that wants to help or volunteer or search for Avonte,” brother Daniel Oquendo, Jr., said. “We’re trying to have a family member or relative out here 24 hours a day, just in case he comes back here or anybody else wanders up here and wants to help.”

Police were handing out flyers at checkpoints along the street in the search for the boy, who is autistic, non-verbal and was last seen on surveillance video running out of the school unsupervised. They also consulted psychics and have searched those locations, including a tunnel under Tompkins Square Park, but those searches have come up empty.

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For Anonymous

What exactly does that mean to get off our asses and find the kid? Should we just wander the streets looking around? If he was in any place accessible to the general public he would have been found already. Realistically there is nothing the LIC residents can do.

Time's Up

This is an absolute tragedy and I’d be suicidal if I were the parents.

Nevertheless, I’m with Yep regarding the police response. I’m near that school every day, and for the first few days following the incident it was quiet. Then, suddenly, the police were out in full force. We’re talking several days after the boy went missing.

Now, the idea of the police diligently searching for him is great. But I see dozens of them standing around the school now – just lying around. How does that help find the kid? What is the purpose of the show of force congregating in one spot? I can understand why the relatives have a tent there 24/7. But I don’t understand the mobile command unit and the police state that has enveloped Gantry south. And they’re still questioning area residents, as if there was anyone living in Hunter’s Point who doesn’t know this kid is missing at this point. The fliers are everywhere; we know. The bottom line is the school and the cops dropped the ball so now they’re trying to overcompensate.


Instead of being “pissed off,” Yep, why don’t you and your neighbors get off your high and mighty asses and help find this kid? Christ almighty, what a bunch of despicable people we have in LIC.


Someone find this kid, please. The extreme waste of resources and money and helicopters hovering of Gantry is really starting to piss me off.


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