DNA Tests Confirm the Remains Found on Queens side of the East River are that of Missing 14 Year Old Avonte Oquendo
Sad news in the story of missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo …
New York City medical examiners have confirmed that the remains found in Queens last week along the East River were those of Avonte Oquendo, the 14 year old boy with autism who went missing from his school in October 2013. After months of searching for Avonte Oquendo, the teenage boy who had autism and who couldn’t speak or care for himself is now tragically over. DNA tests confirmed that Avonte’s remains were found last week in the College Point section of Queens, miles up the East River from where he was last seen, leaving his school in Long Island City.
On Tuesday — five days after those body parts and scraps of clothing were found — Vanessa Fontaine learned that DNA tests proved her son’s remains indeed had been found.
Her lawyer said that Fontaine has been stoic, strong, focused and hopeful throughout this ordeal. But after police told her the news on Tuesday, “she finally just broke down … just crying and crying.”
“I kept saying, Vanessa, say it again,” David Perecman said of his muddled phone conversation. To which she replied through the tears, “It’s Avonte, it’s Avonte. (The police) came. It’s Avonte.”
So ended not just her family’s search for the teenager, but that of the United States’ most populated city. Police deployed sniffer dogs, combed surveillance footage and repeatedly canvassed each of New York City’s 468 subway stations because of Avonte’s love of trains.
The family is contemplating that they might sue the Department of Education for their negligence in Avonte’s death. Honestly, I can’t blame them one bit, especially when the 14 year old autistic boy who could not communicate with others was supposed to have been supervised at all times.
“They will go through the stages that you have to go through in order to accept what has happened,” Perecman said. “I’m sure there will be anger.”
Anger, he said, directed at what happened at the school, where a child with severe autism was able to run out the door, as seen on surveillance footage.
“There were so many things that went wrong,” Perecman said. “It befuddles the mind.”
Then, he said, the school’s immediate response delayed the search process.
“I am convinced in my heart of hearts, had a prompt reaction occurred, had some of this cascade of errors not occurred, that the police would have been called, they would have went outside and they would have found Avonte before this happened. He’d be home right now,” Perecman said.
For more updates, read others opinions and to provide your own, go to Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Forum: Avonte Oquendo.