Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Crime & Courts

Body parts found in East River might be those of missing autistic teen

See also

(Updated Jan. 21) On Oct. 4, 2013, 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo left his New York City school, was seen walking toward a park on the banks of the East River, and was never seen again. Now the NYPD is looking into the possibility that clothes and body parts found along the river’s shoreline on Jan. 17 could be those belonging to the missing autistic teen.

MSN reported on the grisly discovery:

A person shooting photos discovered what looked like an arm on Thursday.

Police also found a torso and legs in the water, along with a dark-colored shoe and clothes resembling what the boy was last seen wearing.

Since Avonte went missing on Oct. 4, hundreds of volunteers, police officers and marine units have been searching the areas around his school, subway stations and tunnels, and the East River looking for the teen.

The remains discovered on Thursday were found “at least 11 miles driving distance from his school.” Officials are not going on record just yet that those remains are those of young Avonte Oquendo.

The body parts are now at the Queens County Morgue, where the medical examiner will attempt to come up with a cause of death and identification. Those tests could take several days.

Detectives and water units were at the site early Friday searching for any additional evidence.

A reward of $60,000 leading to information regarding Avonte's safe return is in effect, with much of that reward coming from an “anonymous donation to the advocacy group Autism Speaks.”

Avonte's family has filed a notice of claim saying they planned to sue the city, arguing that the officials at Avonte's school allowed him to walk out of the building and waited too long to notify police that he was missing.

Jan 21 update: Sadly, those body parts that washed up from the East River were confirmed by the City Medical Examiner to be those belonging to young Avonte Oquendo.

According to PIX11, the statement was released today at a press conference held by the Oquendo family attorney, David Perceman, who stated:

“Unfortunately the news I bring is not good news,” Perecman said at a press conference Tuesday. “After all that searching, the message I bring you from Vanessa [Avonte's mother] is that police visited her earlier today and DNA has verified that indeed that the remains that they found are that of Avonte Oquendo.”

The cause of death is still unknown, and will hopefully be determined pending further tests from the medical examiner’s office.

Rest in peace Avonte Oquendo.

For more on Avonte Oquendo, see the video accompanying this article.

Also see:

Baby girl beaten by stepfather so badly, suffers brain injury and blindness

Mother shoots, kills 2 young daughters and then herself in Utah murder-suicide

Teen boys admit to sexually assaulting Audrie Pott prior to her suicide

7 hungry, dirty, shivering kids left in frigid van, 2 zip-tied to car seats

Mom accused of raping her three young children while other adults paid to watch

Connect with Rich Webster on Facebook and Twitter.

To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.

E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con

Related Videos:

  • Barack Obama, Community Organizer
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518300300" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518300300&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Boko Haram's Leader Abubakar Shekau
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518343306" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518343306&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Prophet Jonah's Burial Ground in Iraq
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518341212" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518341212&autoStart=true"></div>