Last October a 14-year-old autistic boy went missing after running out of his school and disappearing. His body was found months later:
NBC and ABC sent reporters right away. They searched the neighborhood all night, along the waterfront, in garbage cans, in parks, under cars, and found nothing. The family kept searching. Avonte’s father came up from Florida to help, bringing Avonte’s half-brother, Daniel Oquendo Jr., with him. Good Samaritans set up tents outside the school to serve as the command station for a search. They handed out leaflets and organized volunteers. When it got colder, a New Jersey man donated a trailer that was kept parked nearby. Donations raised the award for Avonte’s discovery to $89,500. A growing number of volunteers offered to help. The police kept them at a distance, especially when some of their theories on the case started trickling into the news coverage.