Photo: CARLO ALLEGRI/Corbis.
Police have positively identified the remains pulled from the East River on Tuesday as those of the autistic teen who disappeared last October 4, 2013. Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, told the New York Post, “The remains that were recovered in Queens were those of Avonte Oquendo. The cause of death and manner are pending further studies.”
Oquendo's disappearance sparked a city-wide search — and though bloodhounds had tracked his scent to the river's edge, the scent disappeared. Cops searched the river several times, but they were never able to find a trace of the missing boy. The clothing found on the remains — including a striped shirt, black Air Jordans, and black jeans — matched what Oquendo was last seen wearing.
Police sources say the boy had a fear of water, but are ruling out foul play at this time. However, his underwear brand and size does not match that which he was wearing the day of his disappearance. This detail has understandably raised concern with Oquendo's family, as well as the family's lawyer David Perecman. Regarding the mismatched underwear, Perecman stated, “That could mean someone got a hold of him or had him with them for a few days. Then again, if I had to wear the same clothes day after day, the first item I would want to change would be my underwear.”
Perecman has filed a lawsuit against the school (where Oquendo was last seen) and city for losing track of the student. Our hearts go out to Oquendo's family during this tragic time. (NY Post)