News

Missing Persons Ads Could Soon Be Coming To Taxi TV

NYC cab (file/credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NYC cab (file/credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Images of missing children could soon be seen on Taxi TV under a proposed bill being considered by the New York City Council.

The measure, which was introduced by Bronx Democrat Jimmy Vacca last Wednesday, was proposed in honor of Avonte Oquendo, the autistic 14-year-old boy whose remains were found by the East River in January after he disappeared from his Queens school on Oct. 4.

Vacca told 1010 WINS on Sunday Avonte’s case brings up a need for more outreach in locating people, especially young people.

“I want all hands on deck when we’re looking to find someone. I think the Avonte case pointed out that we really have to do extensive outreach and this is something that we can do with very little difficulty,” Vacca said.

The council member said the tools to put the proposal in place already exist.

“Here we have the capacity and we have the technology already in place to make sure that these screens can be used. And using them to identify missing persons and to alert cab passengers about a person that could be missing really increases the likelihood we’re gonna find people who are missing and bring them back to their families,” Vacca said.

Avonte’s disappearance set off a massive search that included subway tunnels and regular announcements over the PA system at subway stations.

His remains were found on the shore in College Point, Queens, several miles from where he vanished.

A report released on Thursday by New York City Schools Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon detailed the series of events that led up to Avonte’s disappearance.

The report did not find one person responsible for Avonte leaving. Rather, it detailed a tragic chain of events involving several people.

The investigation did uncover that Avonte’s mother had warned his teacher in writing that he may run or try to leave the building. The report said that the form Avonte’s mother filled out was unofficial, and though the teacher received it, she never shared it with the school’s administration.

After Avonte’s remains were found in January, the New York City Medical Examiner’s office could not determine how he died.

Avonte’s family has filed a lawsuit against the city.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: