The remains that were found on a Queens beach have been confirmed that they belong to missing autistic teen, Avonte Oquendo. It’s being reported that a torso, left arm, legs and a sneaker were found by a teenage girl last week on a rock in the water near College Point Yacht Club at Hermon A. MacNeil Park in College Hill, Queens. Avonte’s skull is said to have been found earlier this week, as well as a second arm, teeth and clothes matching those worn by Avonte. The cause and manner of death are pending further study, the Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Avonte was said to have a huge fear of dogs and water, so finding his remains on a beach was not only a shocker, but puzzling. A source told the New York Post, “He had a huge fear of dogs and was seen running from one” in Hunter’s Point South Park, a short walk from his school. “He may have run in a panic and fallen into the water,” of which he was also terrified, the source said.
14-year-old Oquendo was last seen running away from Riverview School in Long Island City. The family is continuing to pursue a civil claim against the Avonte’s school, as their autistic son was able to leave freely. Avonte walked out of his school undetected, through a side door, and was last seen on video heading toward the park. The school allegedly tried to cover up the mishap, allowing the security officer on duty to falsely claim she saw Avonte go back upstairs after catching him outside.
The Oquendo Family Attorney, David Perecman claimed:
“You can’t see in the tape that she says ‘Hello’ to him, she says ‘Where are you going?.’ She apparently says, ‘Go back to class.’ But she claimed to have seen him go up the stairs and stay in the school. That’s why the school was looking for him in the school. The problem is, the video tape shows he went out of the school. So she couldn’t have seen him go up the stairs. She could’ve said, ‘I think he went up the stairs. He went in the direction of the stairs.’ But she certainly didn’t see him go up the stairs,” he said.
“It does appear that she was seated at the table and the screen was in front of her, and she would’ve been able to see him walk out of the school. And in the video tape, she does go over to the door that he walked out of, two to three minutes after he walked out of it, and closes it. Very distressing information.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with The Oquendo family, as this is the worst possible outcome of their child’s disappearance. The investigation of Avonte’s death is on-going.
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