NYPD's Kelly Not Optimistic in Search for Avonte; Family Continues Looking

The boy was last seen skipping away from his Long Island City school Oct. 4

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    New York’s top cop said Thursday that he wasn’t optimistic that Avonte Oquendo, the autistic boy who disappeared from his Queens school three weeks ago, will be found alive, but the boy’s family said they’re not giving up hope.

    The father of Avonte Oquendo said Thursday that they keep looking even as Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he wasn’t optimistic in the search for the boy who was last seen skipping away from his school in Long Island City Oct. 4.

    "Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Daniel Oquendo said. “It’s not going to slow us down, we’re going to continue our search.”

    Oquendo, who has been scouring the city for his 14-year-old son with hundreds of volunteers over the last 21 days, added, “If anything, it’s going to make people work harder."

    Infrared Cameras Used in Search for Avonte Oquendo

    [NY] Infrared Cameras Used in Search for Avonte Oquendo
    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says officers are now going back over areas they've already searched in hopes of finding the missing Rego Park teen. Among some of their tools is an infrared camera. Checkey Beckford reports. (Published Thursday, Oct 17, 2013)

    "We’re not in this to give up. We could have easily folded two weeks ago but that’s not the case. Hopefully what he says incites a lot more action out of people.”

    The search for Avonte, who is mute, has sparked interest locally even as it has stretched from days to weeks. 

    NYPD officers joined volunteers in looking for the boy along with a high-profile search firm out of Texas. Members of the city's autistic community have also helped in the search, which has now spread outside New York City's borders.

    Most recently, celebrity activist and talk show host the Rev. Al Sharpton contributed $5,000 to Avonte's reward fund and pledged the help of his National Action Network.

    Autistic Allies Get Involved in Avonte Search

    [NY] Autistic Community Gets Involved in Search for Avonte
    Parents and friends of the autistic community have become involved in the search for Avonte Oquendo. Marc Santia reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013)

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