A teenager snapped this picture of a boy resembling missing Avonte Oquendo on an E or F subway train Tuesday afternoon.
A photo emerged Wednesday of a boy who so closely resembles Avonte
Oquendo that even the teen’s father couldn’t be sure if it’s his missing
A 13-year-old straphanger thought a boy riding an E or F line train
Tuesday afternoon just might be the 14-year-old autistic boy who is
nonverbal and has been missing nearly a month.
The youngster approached the look-a-like, asking, “Hey, are you
Avonte?” according to Tony Herbert, president of the Brooklyn East
chapter of the National Action Network.
The boy didn’t answer, Herbert said, and the inquiring youth — whose
identity was unknown — snapped a picture before he got off the train.
He later posted the photo of a boy staring straight ahead and wearing a
beige jacket and green khaki pants on his Facebook page, sources said.
An administrator from the good Samaritan’s school saw the image and
alerted police, who are investigating.
Since Avonte vanished Oct. 4 after leaving his Long Island City school,
authorities have been frantically scouring the city’s subway tunnels in
hopes of finding him. Cops have received and investigated sporadic
reports of possible sightings, as recently as Wednesday, all to no
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Around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, residents near the Woodhaven-Ozone Park
border in Queens said NYPD cops from the 102 Precinct swarmed the area,
and helicopters hovered above a Burger King on Atlantic Ave.
“We saw cops coming up by twos, going into every house on 92nd St.
looking for security cameras,” said one resident, who declined to give
The person who sparked that massive search was not Avonte.
Tuesday’s subway photo emerged days after Police Commissioner Raymond
Kelly said he’s “not hopeful” that the autistic boy is still alive. He
later apologized to Avonte’s enraged kin.
Family members were hesitant to affirm that the recently released image
was, or wasn’t, Avonte, who has a fascination with trains.
After he was shown the photo, Avonte’s father, Daniel Oquendo, said he was “still hopeful.”
Yes, it’s a close likeness,” he told the Daily News on Wednesday
night. “We need to get a better look to really tell. If we could find
the individual who took the picture, that would help big time.”
He believes one of the possible sightings eventually will bear fruit.
“We just need to stay focused and analyze every sighting,” he said.
“The more sightings, the better. Eventually one will pan out.
“We’re still hopeful,” he said.
A reward for finding Avonte is now up to $85,000, CBS reported.
Meanwhile, another autistic boy, Robert Richard, 14, went missing from
Yonkers and may have wandered somewhere in the Bronx, authorities said
Wednesday night. Anyone with information on either boy is asked to call