A boy photographed on the subway who closely resembles Avonte Oquendo is not the missing mute, autistic teen, the New York Police Department said Thursday.
“It was not Avonte. This person whose photo it was was in the precinct with his parents," an NYPD spokeswoman told the New York Daily News. "He was taken to a precinct, he was with his mother and it’s confirmed he was not Avonte.”
The photo was taken Tuesday on a Brooklyn-bound E or F subway train near Chinatown. Avonte, who is autistic and nonverbal, was last seen leaving the Center Boulevard School in the Long Island City section of Queens on Oct. 4. The 14-year-old is supposed to be supervised at the school but that was not the case when he ran off.
A massive search for the autistic teen sent the NYPD to train yards and subway tunnels because Avonte has a fascination with trains. The search effort also involved emergency vehicles playing a recording of Avonte’s mother's voice urging him to go towards police vehicles. A reward for information leading to Avonte’s safe return is in the high five figures.