Mother keeps Avonte Oquendo's memory alive 5 years after his death

The mother of a young autistic boy is keeping his memory alive, five years after he was found dead after being missing for months.

News 12 Staff

Aug 7, 2019, 12:37 AM

Updated 1,712 days ago

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Mother keeps Avonte Oquendo's memory alive 5 years after his death
The mother of a young autistic boy is keeping his memory alive, five years after he was found dead after being missing for months.

Avonte Oquendo walked out of his Queens school undetected six years ago and wasn't seen again. His remains were found in the East River three months later.

Since then, the city enacted Avonte's Law, installing door alarms at schools serving students with special needs. A version of the law has become law on the federal level, allowing caregivers to track people prone to wandering off.

While these laws bring Oquendo's mother, Vanessa Fontaine, some measure of solace, she says she wishes they were in place before her son went missing.

Fontaine is urging mothers of children with special needs to take extra steps to ensure alarms at their schools are in place and working properly.

"To save a life, another kid from going through what happened to my son, I'm very happy that there are alarms on the door," Fontaine said. "My son's law is saving another child's life."


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