***Scroll down for updates***
Avonte Oquendo, a severely autistic teen from New York City, has been missing since October 2013, and now police are working to determine whether remains found may be his. You can read my prior posts about Avonte HERE.
On Thursday night, police found legs and an arm next to the East River in Queens as well as size 5 1/2 Air Jordan sneakers that match the shoes of Avonte Oquendo, the teen’s family attorney, David Perecman, told CNN Friday.
Investigators also found size 16 dark jeans, the same size Oquendo wore, and underwear, the lawyer said.
Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, who has passionately advocated for an intense search for her son is now preparing to provide investigators with her DNA so they can determine whether the remains are of her child, the attorney said.
On October 4, when Avonte disappeared from his school, surveillance video showed him running out of the building by himself. According to his mother, he was supposed to have someone with him at all times.
This is such a heart-breaking case, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Oquendo family, who is now undoubtedly waiting to see if this could be their missing Avonte.
I’ll post updates below.
UPDATE: 1/21/14 12:56 PM
The Bring Avonte Home Facebook Page just posted the below update, confirming that the body found was, in fact, Avonte’s.
It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that the medical examiner has confirmed that the remains found in the East River last week belong to Avonte. Please continue to keep his family in your thoughts at this tremendously difficult time. Thank you for your continued support.
My thoughts go out to Avonte’s family and loved ones. What a horribly tragic outcome.
UPDATE: 2/26/14 6:56 PM
As if this case couldn’t get any sadder, the medical examiner’s office has stated that they are unable to determine neither the cause nor the manner of Avonte’s death.
It doesn’t look like Avonte’s family will have any answers as to what really happened to him after he left the school.