By Alex Robinson
The lawyer representing the mother of missing Rego Park teen Avonte Oquendo said Tuesday she has accepted the medical examiner’s findings that the human remains found on the shore in College Point were those of her 14-year-old autistic son.
A woman detective who has maintained a close relationship with the family ever since Avonte disappeared from his Long Island City school Oct. 4 had notified Vannessa Fontaine, his mother, that the remains belonged to him earlier in the day.
Fontaine then called her lawyer, David Perecman, and said “it’s Avonte, it’s Avonte,” he told a news conference at his office in Manhattan.
The city’s medical examiner’s office had confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the body parts discovered since Thursday night were those of Avonte.
Police had found almost all of the boy’s remains after a weekend-long search of an area near Powell’s Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place.
There was some question as to whether Fruit of the Loom underwear found along with the body parts belonged to Avonte.
Perecman said it was not known whether the underwear was Avonte’s because his distraught mother said she did not want to look into his drawer to check on labels.
The lawyer said the family plans to file a negligence suit against the city Board of Education, which operates the special education Astoria school where Avonte was a student before he disappeared.
“The last thing in the world anyone should ever think as they kiss their child goodbye before they go off to school is that that is the last time they’ll see them,” Perecman said.
He said no one has come forward to claim the $95,000 reward the family offered to anyone who found their son.
Perecman also thanked the police, volunteers, community leaders, elected officials and the media for keeping the story of Avonte’s disappearance alive for months after he ran out of one of the school’exits.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.