A 13-year-old boy disappeared from outside his home in Lindenwood around dawn Friday morning.
Griffin Dreger, 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.
Witnesses say the boy may have been kidnaped. Several neighbors claimed to have heard Dreger scream and police are looking for a gold-colored van that he was allegedly taken away from the scene in.
He was last seen wearing a red shirt, a red hat and black pants.
Police have not confirmed his kidnaping, but are in possession of security camera footage that shows Dreger tossing out garbage, then running from something.
Several hours after the apparent possible abduction, 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.
"I heard him screaming," said one neighbor. "It took me a few seconds to realize it was a human scream, and I knew something was wrong."
She said by the time she opened her window, it was completely quiet outside. It was only a short time later, when Dreger's family began searching for him that she figured out what was going on.
"It had to be him I heard," the neighbor said. "How terrible."
Another 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.