So sad. On Jan. 21, more than 15 weeks after Avonte disappeared, DNA testing confirmed that the body parts discovered along the shoreline of Queens, NY did in fact belong to the missing 14-year-old autistic boy.
After clothes matching the ones Avonte Oquendo was wearing when he went missing in October were discovered in Queens, NY on Jan. 17, DNA tests have confirmed the worst for Avonte’s family members, CNN reports.
Avonte Oquendo Identified — Remains Of Missing Teen Confirmed After DNA Tests
Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, must be devastated after the tragic news was announced by a spokeswoman for the city office of the chief medical examiner on Jan. 21.
“This has taken a significant toll on her as a human being,” the Oquendo family’s attorney, David Perecman, said after the body parts were found.
Avonte had been missing since October, 2013, when he ran out of his Long Island City school. We hope Vanessa will eventually be able to find some peace now that she knows her son is really gone.
The teen’s cause of death is still unknown but is expected to be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Teenage Girl Finds Avonte Oquendo’s Remains
A teenage girl first stumbled upon Avonte’s 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 remains were taken to a morgue, where a medical examiner is working to determine a cause of death.
Though the discovery of clothes that matched Avonte’s pointed to it being him, the Oquendo family’s attorney, David Perecman, said they were waiting for the tests to make the final determination.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Avonte’s family and friends during this horrible, tragic time.
— Tierney McAfee