On Jan. 17, 15 weeks after Avonte went missing, body parts and clothes were discovered along the shoreline of Queens, NY that are thought to match the missing teen. However, Avonte’s relatives are not giving up hope until DNA tests make the final say.
Clothes were discovered in Queens, NY on Jan. 17 that match the ones Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic boy, was wearing when he went missing in October. Those matches may signal the worst for Avonte’s family members, though DNA tests that will be done on several body parts that were also found will make a final determination.
Remains Found: Are They Avonte Oquendo’s?
A teenage girl first stumbled upon the remains — an arm, legs, ribs, and a pelvic bone, according to WABC. After the discovery in College Point, Queens, police divers began searching the East River for more body parts. The ones that have already been discovered were taken to a morgue, where a medical examiner will determine a cause of death.
DNA tests will also be conducted to determine the identity of the remains. And though the discovery of clothes that match Avonte’s point it being him, the Oquendo family’s attorney, David Perecman, says they aren’t resorting to any specific fate until the entire process is carried out, and the tests make a final determination.
“This has taken a significant toll on her as a human being,” David said of Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine. In some way, Vanessa may just want to know for sure what happened to her son, who disappeared after running out of his Long Island City school. But the family may also just rather maintain the belief that Avonte is still out there somewhere.
David stated that he believes an identity and a cause of death will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Avonte’s family and friends during this horrible, tragic time.
— Andrew Gruttadaro