Avonte Oquendo’s remains found near Queens beach
A DNA test has confirmed that remains found on a Queens, NY beach are those of a missing autistic teen.
13-year-old Avonte Oquendo was last seen on Oct. 4 leaving the Riverview School in Long Island City along the East River waterfront.
Searchers began finding body parts, including arms, legs, and a lower torso, on the beach by College Point on Thursday. They found a skull Monday, the family’s lawyer said. The cause and manner of death are pending further study, the medical examiner’s office said.
In the wake of Avonte’s disappearance, authorities frantically searched subway tunnels – Avonte was said to be fascinated by trains. They also made mass announcements in stations informing the public that the missing teen was wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black shoes.
A tip line was set up and a $70,000 reward was offered for information about his whereabouts. Friends even set up a Facebook page to coordinate volunteer search efforts and share information.
The family had been hoping the remains were not his, and intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit because Oquendo was not prevented from leaving the school.
While this is not the conclusion that we were hoping for, hopefully Oquendo’s family can finally begin the healing process.
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