Avonte Oquendo's brother pens letter to New York

March 22, 2014 9:27:04 AM PDT
The older brother of Avonte Oquendo is speaking out about his family's concern about school safety.

Danny Oquendo wrote an ode to New York City in regards to the search for his autistic brother.

Avonte ran out of school in Queens last fall and was found dead months later.

In a letter to autismspeaks.org. Danny Qquendo wrote,"Sadly, our school systems currently don't share the same concerns as the families that raise these children. So let us make certain that Avonte Oquendo's death is not in vain. Let this tragic occurrence be the surge that builds up enough momentum to provide a real solution to the problematic issues that this hardship has brought to our attention. Let us do what is necessary to allot more funding for schools so they can provide their staff with proper training and implement appropriate security measures that would prevent another incident like this. Finally, let this be a reminder that at the end of the day, as tough as New Yorkers are, we can come together as one to achieve common goals that are in the best interest of our children, our loved ones, and our city."

The New York City medical examiner's office said the cause and manner of death for Avonite cannot be determined.

He disappeared from his Queens school on Oct. 4, setting off a massive search that included extensive searches of subway tunnels and regular announcements over the public-address system at subway stations.

His remains were found in the East River in January, several miles from where he vanished.

Oquendo had a form of autism that made him nonverbal.

The family's lawyer has filed a notice of claim, the first step in suing the city.

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