NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice says it will fund voluntary tracking devices for children with autism or other conditions that put them at risk for fleeing their caregivers.
A proposal to fund tracking devices was prompted by the disappearance of autistic New York City teenager Avonte Oquendo. The 14-year-old disappeared from his Queens school on Oct. 4. His remains were found in the East River on Jan. 16.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and members of Avonte's family had called last weekend for legislation to provide GPS tracking devices for autistic children and others with a tendency to bolt from parents or caregivers.
Schumer said Wednesday the Department of Justice agreed to allow existing grant funds to be used.
A similar tracking program exists for Alzheimer's patients.