ASTORIA — Volunteers who are searching for autistic Queens teenager Avonte Oquendo have moved into a new command post in Astoria, the missing boy's brother said Friday.
Brother Danny Oquendo said the volunteer headquarters moved indoors this week because of the cold weather, and searchers are now operating out of a storefront at 21-81A 24th St., just off of Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria.
Avonte's family and a crew of volunteers had previously been manning a 24-hour command center in Long Island City, across the street from the school where the 14-year-old was last seen. The group first worked out of tents, then from a donated trailer and RV parked nearby.
The new command post in Astoria will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Oquendo said. Organizers at the location said they're looking for volunteers to join in search efforts this weekend, urging anyone who's available to stop by the site.
Avonte, who cannot communicate verbally, has been missing since Oct. 4, when he walked out of his special needs school at 1-50 51 Ave. in Long Island City. His disappearance sparked a massive search effort, with volunteers plastering the city with fliers and police investigating hundreds of tips and surveillance videos.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES), then entering TIP577.