New York City police are investigating whether a sighting of a young boy riding a NY subway train is a missing autistic teen.
A teenager riding an E or F train on Tuesday told police he believed he saw 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, who went missing one month ago from his school in Queens, NY.
The teen said he approached the boy and asked him, “Hey, are you Avonte?” But the boy did not respond. The unidentified teen had the presence of mind to snap a photo of the boy before he got off the train.
When shown the photo of the boy on the train, Avonte’s father said he wasn’t sure if the boy was Avonte, who is unable to speak.
“Yes, it’s a close likeness,” Daniel Oquendo told the Daily News. “We need to get a better look to really tell. If we could find the individual who took the picture, that would help big time.”
There have been other sightings of Avonte in the days since he walked out of his school on Oct. 4 and vanished.
“We just need to stay focused and analyze every sighting,” Oquendo said. “The more sightings, the better. Eventually one will pan out … We’re still hopeful.”
According to Fox News, Avonte was last seen wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers.
The boy in the photo is seen wearing a beige jacket and green khaki pants.
The search for Avonte has included the use of a recording of his mother’s voice projected on a loud speaker from a van that cruises the neighborhood where he went missing.
“Hi Avonte, it’s mom. Come to the flashing lights, Avonte,” the boy’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, says in the recording. “It’s mom, Avonte. Hi Avonte, come to the flashing lights. It’s mom.”
Anyone with information regarding Avonte’s whereabouts is asked to call (800) 577-8477.