Avonte Oquendo Search: Teen Spotted Riding NYC Subway Isn’t Missing Autistic Boy

Avonte Oquendo is still missing after police determined that a boy photographed riding the New York City subway was not the missing autistic teen.

Oquendo has been missing since wandering away from his school last month, but this week a picture of someone bearing a striking resemblance to the boy emerged.

The picture from the subway raised the hopes of many friends and people following the boy’s saga. Even Avonte’s parents couldn’t tell if the picture was their son or not.

“At first, we were reluctant,” Daniel Oquendo, Avonte’s father, told WABC. “But then, looking at it a little more, that’s the best picture we’ve gotten so far of someone that resembles Avonte. So we spoke to the detectives. They all got out on it early this morning, and we also ran out and started scouring the streets ourselves.”

The person who took the photo believed it may have been Avonte, but did not receive a reply from the boy after asking his name.

But after family and friends scoured the subway and the NYPD searched, another teen came forward to identify himself as the person in the photograph.

Police have also offered a $50,000 reward for anyone who can help return the boy to his home.

Avonte Oquendo is 14 years old and does not speak. After he went missing from his school in Long Island City, Queens, on October 4 there has been a citywide search for him.

The Oquendo family has blamed the school for failing to keep the boy safe, and have retained attorney David Perecman to file a lawsuit against the school district. Perecman claims that a security guard watched as the teen ran out a door and away from the school, but did not contact the boy’s parents for another hour.

Avonte Oquendo was last seen wearing black shoes, black jeans, and a grey striped shirt. Anyone who believes they have spotted him is urged to call police — his family said Avonte may become frightened if he is confronted or chased.

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