Are the Skeletal Remains Discovered Washed Up on a Beach Near East River in Queens, NY That of Missing Avonte Oquendo?
14 year old Avonte Oquendo has been missing since October 4, 2013. Avonte Oquendo, who is nonverbal and has autism, was last seen October 4 walking past a security guard and out of the Riverview School in Long Island City, Queens. Avonte was wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers on the last day he was seen alive. There have been numerous searches for the missing boy that have come up empty. Now the police have made a grisly discovery as partial skeletal remains were found Thursday washed ashore in Queens near the White Stone Bridge. According to police accounts, the skeletal remains of a left arm were found by a teen girl on the waterfront near Hermon A. MacNeil Park in College Point at around 7:30 p.m. Also found at the scene was a dark colored pair of size-5½ sneakers, that are similar to the ones that were described as the one’s that Avonte Oquendo was wearing when he went missing. The remains have been sent to the medical examiners office. The family of Avonte Oquendo has also been notified of the discovery; however, there has been no official identification yet.
Cops are investigating whether an arm and legs found near a Queens shoreline Thursday are those of missing teen Avonte Oquendo, a police source said.
The human limbs were found near Powell’s Cove Blvd. and Endeavor Place in College Point about 7 p.m., police sources said. A sneaker also was found, sources added, but they could not say whether it belongs to the autistic 14-year-old boy, who went missing more than three months ago.
“We found the arm and it’s been here a while because it’s skeletal,” a police source said. “But where there’s an arm, there’s a body.”
Also found was a dark-colored pair of size-5½ sneakers, according to law-enforcement sources.
The sneakers match the description of the ones that Avonte, 14, was wearing when he went missing on Oct. 4 from a school in Long Island City.
The 14-year-old girl who initially discovered the arm wrote about the discovery on social media before alerting authorities, a police source said.
The remains were removed to the Queens County Morgue as Harbor Patrol divers and helicopters searched the cold, dark waters for additional body parts. The tide quickly came in and the search had to be suspended, but it resumed at daybreak.
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. No positive identification has been made, but police have been in contact with the Oquendo family.
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