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Police: Photo taken on NYC subway not of missing autistic boy

A photo (left) taken on a New York City subway train and posted on on Facebook resembles 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, an autistic boy who disappeared from his Queens school nearly four weeks ago.
WCBS/AP/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Last Updated 11:18 a.m. ET

NEW YORK A boy who was photographed on the subway is not a missing autistic teen from Queens, police said Thursday.

The picture shows a young man on a subway train who bears a striking resemblance to 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo. A 13-year-old boy took the picture on Tuesday and later posted it on his Facebook page.

But sources told CBS Station WCBS that police have made contact with the boy in the picture, and that it is not Avonte.

The 14-year-old, who cannot communicate verbally, was last seen on surveillance video leaving the Center Boulevard School in Queens on Oct. 4.

WCBS reported investigators tracked down the teen who snapped the subway picture, who told them he couldn't get the boy -- pictured sitting and looking straight ahead -- to engage in conversation.

Vanessa Fontaine, Avonte's mother, told WCBS she remains hopeful Avonte will be found.

"I don't celebrate yet, but I'm saying keep hope alive," she said when the subway photo surfaced. "If it's him, I'm happy, and if it isn't him, the search continues."

Since his disappearance, police have tracked down about 500 leads, but all have been dead ends.

Anyone with information is asked to contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

The reward for Avonte's safe return is now up to $95,000.