Human remains found in Queens identified as missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo

Family and police continue the search for 14 year-old missing child, Missing child, Avonte Oquendo.
Missing person posters were put up across New York City after the teenager disappeared from his school in October.
Credit: Bess Adler

After months of searching, the family of a missing autistic teen were heartbroken to learn that his body had been found last week.

Human remains discovered near a Queens shoreline Thursday were identified as those of missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo, the Medical Examiner’s Office and police said Tuesday.

A DNA test matched the remains to Avonte, who was last seen running out of his Long Island City school near the East River on Oct. 4.

After police shared the results with Avonte’s family, his mother, Vanessa Oquendo, was devastated, family attorney David Perecman said.

“She told me, ‘It’s Avonte. They came. It’s Avonte,’” Perecman said. “Vanessa was crying when I spoke to her.”

The remains were found near Powell Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place in College Point, some 11 miles from where Avonte was last seen more than three months ago.

Skeletal remains, including an arm and legs, were among the rocks on the shore. They were found with clothes, along with size 5 1/2 Air Jordan sneakers, similar to those Avonte was wearing when he disappeared.

Over the weekend, police divers and cadaver dogs found more remains.

Investigators are still trying to determine how Avonte’s body came to be along the shoreline upstream from his school. Cause and manner of death are still under investigation, the Medical Examiner’s Office said.

In the weeks after his disappearance, authorities scoured the city and subway tunnels, plastering Avonte’s face across the five boroughs.

Perecman said the family intends to file a wrongful death suit against the city because he was able to leave his school.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina extended her condolences to the family in a statement.

“I am determined that we learn every lesson we can from this terrible tragedy and do everything in our power to prevent incidents like this from ever occurring again,” Farina said. “Let Avonte remind us how important it is that we continue to look out for one another.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.