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Searchers Use Recording of Mom's Voice in Hunt for Autistic Teen

By Ben Fractenberg | October 16, 2013 8:41pm
Avonte Oquendo Command Center Truck
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Roy Renna/BMR Breaking News

QUEENS — Police are hoping to locate Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who has been missing over a week, using the sound of his mother's voice.

While friends, family and volunteers scour the water and the neighborhood near the Long Island City school where he went missing, a Citywide Disaster Services of New York van drove around playing a recording of Avonte's mother's voice, urging him to reveal himself.

"Hi, Avonte, it's mom. Come to the flashing lights, Avonte," said Vanessa Fontaine in the recording.

The Rego Park teenager has been missing since he ran out of the Riverview School on Oct. 4.

Hundreds of volunteers have searched the city daily ever since, handing out thousands of fliers with his picture.

 Department of Sanitation trucks were seen helping to remove debris in a Long Island City lot near where 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo went missing more than a week ago, Oct. 16, 2013.
Avonte Oquendo Sanitation Dig
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Daily announcements have also been made on subway cars and in subway stations.

Avonte was last seen wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers, police said. He is 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. You can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.