A poster for Avonte Oquendo, a missing 14-year-old autistic child, is seen in downtown New York October 15, 2013. Oquendo has been missing for 11 days since walking out of his school on October 4, and a $70,000 reward has been offered for his safe return. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY)
Facebook pages dedicated to finding missing teen Avonte Oquendo will be shut down at the family's request.
The administrators of the Bring Avonte Home Facebook page posted a message that a lawyer representing Avonte's mother will create an official Facebook page so the family can more closely monitor all news concerning Avonte. The administrators of the page are not family members; they are volunteers who have been working with the family to try to find the 14-year-old autistic teen.
On Tuesday, administrators of the page posted that they will continue the page until it is shut down.
"We feel strongly that this page, and its followers, have helped to spread awareness about Avonte's disappearance with high hopes of finding him," the page administrators wrote. "We have made the decision to continue to operate this page at this time. We want our followers to be aware however that there is a possibility of Facebook shutting down the page.
"We want to thank each and every one of you who have helped and supported efforts to find Avonte whether it be by sharing with others, donating supplies and flyers, volunteering for searches and of course by offering words of encouragement and prayers," they continued. "Avonte has captured the hearts of thousands of wonderful and amazingly compassionate people. Thank you."
The message also encouraged everyone to continue spreading the word about Avonte's disappearance, distribute fliers whenever possible and report all tips or possible sightings to the NYPD immediately.
Oquendo has not been seen since he left his school in Long Island City on Oct. 4. Avonte is severely autistic and nonverbal.
This past weekend, volunteers moved into Jersey City to look for Avonte. A volunteer pilot also flew a banner over Manhattan and Queens to get the message out about the missing teen.
Since the search began, police have received hundreds of tips from the public and reviewed hundreds of videos for clues as to where he could be. Last week, a subway rider snapped a photo of a 13-year-old boy who resembled Avonte, but turned out not to be the missing teen. The photo showed a boy who resembles Avonte wearing a beige jacket and green khaki pants. The teen who took the photo asked the boy if he was Avonte, but the boy did not answer.
Although it was not him, the photo renewed some hope that a tip or sighting could eventually lead to the teen's discovery. His family is still hopeful that Avonte can be found alive.
"It's tough, it's just a tough situation right now," Avonte's father Daniel Oquendo said. "But we're hoping for the best."
His family operates the Avonte Oquendo search headquarters in a black RV and a white trailer on Borden Avenue off of Center Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens.
The reward for information leading to his safe return is up to $95,000.