Reward For Avonte Oquendo’s Safe Return Hits $70K

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The frantic search for a missing autistic 14-year-old from Queens continues Monday, more than a week since the teen was last seen.

Avonte Oquendo was last spotted on surveillance video leaving the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City on Oct. 4.

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Over the weekend, MTA workers combed subway tunnels Avonte, who has a fascination with trains.

Hundreds of officers and volunteers have been searching for the boy, who does not speak. Police and volunteers have been passing out flyers and pictures of Avonte are plastered all over the city.

Divers have also searched the East River near the school. Chief of Department Phil Banks said Saturday that police aren’t giving up hope.

On Friday, Autism Speaks announced it had increased the reward for Avonte’s safe return to $70,000.

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Avonte is 5-foot-3 and weighs 125 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black shoes.

“If you see him, please, please, call 911 or take him to a police station,” his mother, Vanessa Fontaine, said last week.

Anyone with information is asked to contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

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