Pilot flies banner in search for Avonte Oquendo

November 10, 2013 9:56:11 AM PST
The search for missing autistic teenager Avonte Oquendo took to the sky Sunday.

A volunteer pilot flew a plane with a banner, encouraging people to help in the efforts to find the 14-year old from Queens.

He hasn't been seen since leaving school in Long Island City on October 4th.

The plane flew over Manhattan and Queens Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, volunteers searching for Avonte focused their efforts on Jersey City.

Since the search began, police say they've received hundreds of tips from the public and reviewed hundreds of videos for any clues.

Last week, a picture snapped by a 13-year-old boy on the subway injected some much-needed energy into the effort to find Avonte, who is autistic and non-verbal.

The photo showed a boy who resembles Oquendo wearing a beige jacket and green khaki pants, sitting and looking straight ahead. The teen who took the photo approached the other boy and asked if he was Avonte, but the boy didn't answer.

The NYPD confirmed the boy in the photo's identity, and it was not Avonte. Still, his family remains hopeful he will be found alive.

"It's tough, it's just a tough situation right now," dad Daniel Oquendo said. "But we're hoping for the best."

The reward for information leading to his safe return is up to $95,000.