By Jueseppi B.
From NBC New York.com:
Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 Updated 1:23 PM EST
Body parts found along the shore of the East River in Queens have been matched by DNA to Avonte Oquendo, the teen who went missing more than three months ago, the NYPD confirmed Tuesday.
The body parts were found Thursday night in College Point, just southwest of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, about 9 miles by waterway from where Avonte was last seen on Oct. 4.
The disappearance of the autistic and mute teen launched a search that spanned the city and extended even into the suburbs for weeks. He walked out of his school in Long Island City, near the East River, and was never seen again.
Authorities said a human arm was found by a resident Thursday night, and then more body parts by officers who responded.
Searchers also located a pair of size 5 1/2 Air Jordan sneakers and a pair of jeans matching what Avonte was wearing the day he disappeared. A pair of underwear that was found did not match the size or brand he was wearing, sources said.
The flow of the East River, which is actually a tidal strait and not a river, changes direction with the tide, so it could have flowed from nearby Avonte’s school to the place where the parts were found.
Family lawyer Daniel Perecman said the child was last seen on surveillance video in a park right along the water. But, he said, the teen is afraid of water and “doesn’t like it.” The family doesn’t believe he would have voluntarily crossed a shoreline barrier.
Perecman has a press conference scheduled for later today.
Clothing on remains found in Queens match those of Avonte Oquendo: police
Published on Jan 18, 2014
Evidence gathered along the East River — body parts, clothing and a pair of sneakers — almost certainly brought to a tragic end the desperate three-month search for autistic teen Avonte Oquendo.
All that remained to confirm the parents’ worst fears was a comparison of DNA taken from the remains with the sample that Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, rushed to investigators. “Unfortunately, there is good reason to think it’s him,” the family’s lawyer, David Perecman, warned. “It’s more than just speculation.”
Avonte Oquendo Found : Clothing on remains found in Queens match those of Avonte Oquendo
Avonte walked past a security guard and out of the Riverview School in Long Island City, Queens, on Oct. 4. Avonte was obsessed with the subway system and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials made announcements on trains for weeks asking for help finding him. The MTA sent subway workers into the tunnels in Brooklyn and Queens to check out tips that the teen had been spotted wandering the tracks.
The NYPD went so far as to enlist the help of psychics in the search for the boy, sources told the Daily News. Police, relatives and volunteers posted flyers and combed waterways. The search generated dozens of false tips and a reward grew to nearly $90,000.
The case gripped the city with curiosity, hope and, finally, the beginnings of despair when a photographer spotted remains along the rocky shoreline in College Point on Thursday afternoon.
Police believe Avonte walked from the school and into a nearby hilly area along the mouth of the Newtown Creek that was covered with shrubbery. He may have lost his way among the brush and tumbled down a steep drop into the water.
Just after 7 p.m. Thursday, police found a left arm that police sources said appeared to have separated via decomposition — rather than a violent act. Police divers returned to the cold and murky water on Friday, feeling around the underwater rocks while wearing heavy gloves. Other cops searched the shoreline using cadaver dogs. They shut down the search by nightfall and were expected to resume at 7 a.m. Saturday.
In all, they found legs in boys’ size 16 Old Navy jeans, a size 51/2 Air Jordan sneaker and a striped shirt — all consistent with the outfit Avonte was wearing when he went missing.
Cops found the legs about 15 to 20 feet from the arm on a set of rocks. On Friday, cops found what appeared to be a human jawbone, a source told The News. They have also located possible rib bones and a partial pelvis.
Fruit of the Loom underwear — size large — were found on the body, offering a glimmer of hope for the family. Fontaine said she dressed her son in Hanes underwear.
The first of the remains were spotted by a 19-year-old photography student who lives in College Point, police sources said. Natasha Shapiro, who takes photography classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, was too rattled to talk with reporters.
In their official account of the disappearance, Riverview School staffers said Avonte disappeared from a group of students that was walking from a cafeteria to a computer lab, Perecman has said.
As it became increasingly more likely that the story of Avonte’s disappearance would not have a happy ending, schools spokesman Devon Puglia said crisis teams were “standing by for whatever the school needs.”
Perecman filed a $25 million notice of claim against the city on behalf of Avonte’s family five days after the boy vanished.
His disappearance prompted Sen. Chuck Schumer to float a proposal to place tracking devices on autistic kids who could be overwhelmed by “the sights and sounds of New York City and other busy places.”
Two things make me wanna turn into an angry vigilante…
One…whomever did this horrific murder of an autistic child is him/herself in need of dying in the same exact manner as Avonte Oquendo. No long death row battle or appeals, no sitting on death row for 20 years, just turn him/her over to someone like me.
Two…main stream media is much more concerned in a dumbass winter storm named Janus followed by coverage of lying bullying Chris Christie and his swearing in ceremony. Proper reporting of these DNA test results are on the back page in being reported, to those who were holding out hope for Avonte’s return. Like Me.
If Avonte Oquendo had been a caucasian autistic child allowed to wander off from his special needs school……what would have been done differently?
I just don’t have the words.