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Police and Family Searching for Queens Teen With Autism

By  Jeanmarie Evelly and Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 7, 2013 12:18pm 

 Avonte Oquendo, 14, who cannot communicate verbally, was last seen on Friday.
Avonte Oquendo, 14, who cannot communicate verbally, was last seen on Friday.
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QUEENS — Cops and family were searching Monday morning for a 14-year-old autistic boy who was last seen Friday leaving his school in Long Island City.

Avonte Oquendo of Rego Park, who can't speak, was seen on surveillance footage running away from the Riverview School at 1-50 51 Ave. just before 12:40 p.m.

His older brother, Danny Oquendo, has set up a fundraising website to assist in the search for Avonte. He said the family has received reports that the teen may have been spotted in Jamaica, Queens.

Oquendo said his brother is somewhat familiar with the city's subway system but would not have been able to find his way home on his own.

"He's autistic and he cannot verbally communicate at all," he said. "He can't even tell someone if he's hungry."

Missing Boy
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Avonte was wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers. He is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.