Health + Safety
UPDATE: Police Confirm NY Remains Are Avonte Oquendo
UPDATE: The New York City medical examiner’s office confirms that the human remains found along the East River are the remains of the missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo.
Authorities made the identification through DNA given by the family. The medical examiner says the cause of death are pending further study.
Now that the search for the 14-year-old is sadly over, the family attorney is shifting the blame for the tragic event towards the teen’s school.
“I am convinced, in my heart of hearts, that had a prompt reaction occurred, had some of this cascade of errors not occurred, that the police would have been called, they would have went outside, and they would have found Avonte before this happened,” Perecman said.
“He would be home right now. He would be wearing his Air Jordans, and they wouldn’t have been found in a river.”
The school has not commented on the issue.
The remains of a human body found on a beach in Queens, NY late last Thursday and believed at that time to belong to missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo.
While the family awaited DNA results from the remains found last week, family attorney confirmed Monday that more remains have been discovered.
“They found a skull – presumptively of the same body – and there are some teeth, so that may provide more information if there are dental records,” family attorney David Perecman said. “I cannot confirm at this point.”
There was no clear link between the missing teen and the remains found, but the remains were found in similar clothing and sneakers to those of Avonte on the last day he was seen.
The sneakers were tied tightly to the feet, and socks on the feet helped preserve the skin well enough that the medical examiner will be able to take a print off of it, Perecman said.
Perecman said that Avonte’s mother Vanessa Fontaine refused to believe that it is her son until the test results come back.
The family attorney said he is also looking into reports of more school surveillance tapes showing how Avonte left his Long Island City, Queens school in October.
Avonte, 14, was described as severely autistic and unable to speak. He was last seen on Oct. 4, running out of the school.
(Photo Credit: NYPD)