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East River remains confirmed to be Avonte Oquendo, missing autistic teen

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The human remains found on the shore of the East River in New York have been confirmed to belong to Avonte Oquendo. The teen, who was autistic and mute, had been missing from his Long Island City school since he ran away in October. The Daily News shared the last information available on Jan. 21.

Avonte Oquendo, 14, was last seen on Oct. 4 via surveillance footage as he ran from his school. Avonte's family never gave up hope, even after human remains were found last Thursday that seemed likely to be his. Now the medical examiner has said that the DNA from the remains matches Oquendo. As for the cause and manner of death, those details are not yet available, as the medical examiner's office needs to continue their investigation.

David Perecman, the family's lawyer, held a news conference Tuesday afternoon confirming the results. Vanessa Fontaine, Avonte's mother, was not present. The heartbreaking discovery happened when a leg was found on a College Point beach last Thursday. As authorities investigated, they found additional body parts, and a skull was found on Monday. In addition, shoes, pants and a shirt all matching what Oquendo was wearing were found with the remains.

Avonte's family has filed notice that they will be suing the city over Oquendo's disappearance from his school. Perecman indicated that the suit will now be a wrongful death lawsuit. He has previously said that he believes more information about just what happened on Oct. 4 will be revealed, and that the security guard who interacted with Avonte just before the disappearance has perhaps been holding back information.

Those who have been following the missing autistic teen's death are heartbroken by the news Tuesday. Everybody sends their heartfelt condolences to the Oquendo and Fontaine family. So far there is no information available regarding funeral services for Avonte Oquendo.



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