NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Concerned for Welfare of Avonte Oquendo, Missing Autistic Boy

By Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson covers the business of luxury for Epoch Times. Sarah has worked for media organizations in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and graduated with merit from the Aoraki Polytechnic School of Journalism in 2005. Sarah is almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Originally from New Zealand, she now lives next to the Highline in Manhattan's most up-and-coming neighborhood, West Chelsea.
October 16, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—The search for Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy from Queens continues, but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is “very concerned” about the boy’s welfare.

“We are using a significant amount of resources to look for this young man,” Kelly said at a press conference in Brooklyn on Oct. 16.

Avonte has been missing for almost two weeks. He was last seen at his school, Center Boulevard School, in Long Island City, Oct. 4. 

Video surveillance from the school on Oct. 4 shows a school safety agent directing Avonte to go back upstairs to his classroom, but instead the boy walks down the hall and exits the building from a side door.

Kelly said the school safety agent had done nothing wrong.

The NYPD has enlisted volunteer organizations to help with the search, including the Guardian Angels.

Avonte had a passion for trains, and may have taken a train beyond New York City’s boundaries, police say.

“I think, no stone has been unturned,” Kelly said. “We are very concerned at this juncture.”

Autism Speaks, a non-profit, is offering a $70,000 reward for Avonte’s safe return. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Sarah Matheson covers the business of luxury for Epoch Times. Sarah has worked for media organizations in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and graduated with merit from the Aoraki Polytechnic School of Journalism in 2005. Sarah is almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Originally from New Zealand, she now lives next to the Highline in Manhattan's most up-and-coming neighborhood, West Chelsea.