Police now say that they have found the teenage boy that went missing from outside his Lindenwood home Friday morning safe and unharmed at the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station.
Griffin Dreger, 13, who is a student at St. Thomas the Apostle school in Woodhaven, was throwing out garbage in a Dumpster when he went missing around 6:30 a.m. at 153rd Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard, near Conduit Boulevard.
The boy was thought to have been kidnaped. Several neighbors claimed to have heard Dreger scream and police were looking for a gold-colored van that he was allegedly taken away from the scene in.
But a police source said they do not know if he was kidnaped or disappeared on his own. No AMBER alert was issued because police never confirmed a kidnaping.
Several hours after Dreger's disappearance, neighbors and family members mulled around, along with NYPD cops and investigators, on Cross Bay Boulevard and 153rd Avenue, the main route into the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach. Several police cars and a van from Patrol Borough Queens South were at the scene. Several neighbors declined to talk or be identified. Officers surrounded an obviously distraught relative of Dreger's near the entrance to the family's home in the community's trademark garden apartments. Police helicopters circled over South Queens with one hovering over Liberty Avenue and 104th Street in Ozone Park for several minutes. Police at the scene would not comment on the investigation, but the same helicopter was seen circling over the area again a short time later.
A neighbor, who has two young daughters, said the incident made her extremely cautious this morning.
"I don't want to let them out of my sight," she said of her two children whom she had just dropped off at PS 232. Typically, she said, she lets them walk on their own with some friends.