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Billboard added to effort to find missing Buffalo 13-year-old

Billboard added to effort to find missing Buffalo 13-year-old

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LOCAL missing boy billboard CANTILLON

The search for Jaylen Griffin, who's been missing since August 2020, is getting a boost from a new billboard at Jefferson Avenue and Virginia Street that's visible from the Kensington Expressway. Jaylen has turned 13 since he's been missing.

It has been one year and 84 days since Jaylen Griffin's family last saw him.

There have been search parties, social media posts and news coverage.

Now there's a billboard with the 13-year-old's picture along one of Buffalo's busiest highways.

Jaylen's family remains traumatized, both from the boy's disappearance and other tragedies, including the killing of his older brother a few months later, said Tim Newkirk, pastor of GYC Ministries.

"They're looking for answers," said Newkirk, who also founded Community Action Coalition of Western New York, which works to help the families of missing children.

Missing boy jaylen griffin

Photo of Jaylen Griffin.

Jaylen was 12 when he was last seen Aug. 4, 2020, at the family's home on Warren Avenue, not far from the Central Terminal. At the time, he was 5 feet, 3 inches and 145 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

The billboard recently put up near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Virginia Street, visible from the Kensington Expressway, asks anyone with information to call 716-770-9093.

Buffalo police detectives continue to work the case, Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

"The Buffalo Police Department's Special Victims Unit continues this investigation as an active missing person investigation and are following up on any and all leads that come our way," Gramaglia said in an email. "We will continue to work on this case as an active investigation until he is found. We ask anyone with any information or anyone that may have seen Jaylen to please call Buffalo Police."

Police have previously said at the time he was reported missing, which was several days after he had last been seen, Jaylen was thought to be a runaway. Investigators at the time had no information he had been taken or abducted.

Newkirk said there is "a lot of speculation" in the community about what happened to Jaylen.

Search parties have gone door to door in the city. There have been sightings reported, and Newkirk has investigated tips himself.

"I ran into lookalikes," he said.

Newkirk said he believes the case involves more than "just a runaway" and that something criminal has happened.

Jaylen's case has been listed with theĀ National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. It also was featured on the Investigation Discovery channel in March.

The pastor said he hopes to raise money for more billboards, including in other cities, including Niagara Falls, Rochester and Syracuse.

Newkirk also said he believes the search efforts could get a boost if there was a reward offered for information.

The department's Special Victims Unit can be reached at 716-851-4494. The department also has a confidential tip line which accepts calls and texts at 716-847-2255.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts may also call 911, so police can respond immediately.

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