Find Parts Belonging To Missing Autistic Teen
The search for a missing autistic teenager who ran out of his Long Island City school last October has come to a tragic end.
Body parts found along the banks of the East River in College Point early last Thursday night, Jan. 16, have been identified as the remains of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, police confirmed on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Oquendo, who was unable to verbally communicate, ran out of the Center Boulevard School-located on the Long Island City waterfront- sometime after 12:38 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2013, law enforcement sources said. His disappearance sparked national attention and an extensive search across the tri-state area.
For weeks, officers from the 108th Precinct and across the five boroughs were joined by volunteers in searching the Long Island City area for the teenager, and any clues as to where he may be located. Missing persons fliers bearing Oquendo’s image were seemingly posted everywhere-on street lamps, subway stations and even church doors.
A large reward of up to $90,000 had been offered for any information leading to Oquendo’s safe return home.
Officers from the 109th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call, found an arm, legs and a torso in the area of Powell Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place at around 7:16 p.m. last Thursday night.
Published reports indicated that shoes, underwear and other clothing found near the body matched those worn by Oquendo.
The remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for testing to determine the identity and the cause of death. The match was reportedly determined through a comparison of genetic material from the body parts to DNA samples provided by Oquendo’s family.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.