The New York City Medical Examiner confirmed that the remains found near the East River last Thursday belong to Avonte Oquendo. The 14-year-old had been missing since wandering out of his Long Island City school on Oct. 4.
On Thursday evening, 19-year-old Natasha Shapiro discovered remains in College Point, and police divers would later find legs, a skull, torso and teeth. A pair of size-5 1/2 sneakers were found and the legs were still inside of a pair of size-16 jeans that matched what Oquendo was wearing the day he went missing.
David Perecman, the Oquendo family attorney, said that the family was holding out hope that the remains did not belong to Avonte, but admitted to the New York Post that the situation was "not looking great."
Surveillance footage showed Oquendo, who had a severe form of autism that prevented him from speaking, exiting Center Boulevard School on Oct. 4. A citywide search was launched for the the teen and a $95,000 reward promised for information about his whereabouts.
Perecman has since postponed a negligence claim against the city for the events surrounding Oquendo's disappearance and subsequent death.