The search continues for a special-needs Crown Heights man who went missing during last week’s West Indian Day Parade.

Leon Shepherd, 50, was last seen by his mother at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 4, as they were watching the floats during the parade near the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway. A worker at the Bravo supermarket reported that he might have seen him near the market and entering the A/C subway station on Nostrand Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

The family has plastered fliers around the neighborhood that describe him as around 5 feet 7 inches inches tall, 155 pounds and missing a portion of his right index finger.

He is autistic, and although he can speak and read well he does not know his way around New York and has not gone anywhere without his mother because he arrived from Guyana in early July. He walks quickly and talks to himself, his mother said.


“I don’t know the moment when he slipped away, but I turned and realized he wasn’t there,” said Lena Shepherd. Her frantic search began almost immediately as she ran through the streets, and then called someone at her church to drive around looking for him, to no avail.

“We are all praying for him,” said Shepherd. “I cannot explain the feeling, but I am his mother, and sometimes I go off sobbing.”

Anyone with information about Leon can confidentially report it using the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers website or by anonymously calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).Tips can also be text messaged to the NYPD by texting 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577.