Mother of missing NY autistic boy says son’s alive

NEW YORK (AP) — The mother of an autistic boy missing for three weeks says her son is out there and slammed the New York Police Department for suggesting it wasn’t hopeful he’d be found alive.

Vanessa Oquendo (oh-KEHN’-doh) said Friday police aren’t looking in the right places for 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo (ah-VAHN’-tay oh-KEHN’-doh).

The Daily News reports (http://nydn.us/1ajsOqM) she spoke at a news conference outside the Queens school where Avonte was last seen on Oct. 4.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told WABC-TV Thursday the search was ongoing but “we are not hopeful that we’re going to find this young man alive.”

Kelly said Friday 80 detectives assigned to the case are reviewing 196 pieces of video and following up on more than 450 leads.

The reward for Avonte’s safe return is up to nearly $90,000. Police ask anyone with information to call the police TIPS hot line.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com

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