Avonte Oquendo, a 14 year-old autistic boy, went missing from his school in Queens almost four weeks ago. Fliers with his picture are everywhere in New York City. And now—finally—he may have been spotted (Update: nope). But!
A 13 year-old spotted someone who looks exactly like Avonte on a subway train on Tuesday, and snapped a picture that's now in every paper in town. Their interaction, according to the New York Daily News, went like this:
The youngster approached the look-a-like, asking, “Hey, are you Avonte?” according to Tony Herbert, president of the Brooklyn East chapter of the National Action Network.
The boy didn’t answer, Herbert said, and the inquiring youth — whose identity was unknown — snapped a picture before he got off the train.
He didn't answer. AVONTE OQUENDO IS AUTISTIC AND NONVERBAL. A NON-ANSWER IS ACTUALLY CONFIRMATION. Avonte Oquendo has a greater media presence in the New York City subway system than Jay-Z and Dr. Zizmor combined. HOW HAS NO ONE SPOTTED THIS KID IN FOUR WEEKS? It is mind-blowing. A wanted fugitive would kill to achieve this level of invisibility. WHERE ARE YOU AVONTE? CAN ALL EIGHT MILLION OF US IN THIS CITY NOT SPOT THIS YOUNG MAN SOMEWHERE? HE DID NOT FLY TO BANGLADESH. HE IS NOT THE LOCH NESS MONSTERS HE'S 14 AND HE DOESN'T SPEAK. HE IS HERE SOMEWHERE. WHAT THE HECK??
If you see Avonte Oquendo on the train, please notify the police, instead of just taking his picture.
Update: The Daily News reports that the NYPD says the boy in the picture is not Avonte Oquendo. Too bad.