Lawyer for missing NY teen gives presser about found remains

Avonte Oquendo
CBS New York

COLLEGE POINT, N.Y. -- The attorney for the family of Avonte Oquendo gave a news conference Friday addressing reports of human remains found along the shoreline in Queens, N.Y. possibly belonging to the autistic boy who has been missing since Oct. 4, reports CBS New York.

Police boats, helicopters, detectives and water units are searching for additional evidence Friday after the remains were discovered around 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

David Perecman, attorney for Avonte's family, said he spoke to the boy's mother, Vanessa Fontaine, about the new developments 2 a.m. Friday.

Officers responding to a 911 call found a possible arm and legs on the rocks in College Point, police said.

Police also found a torso, some clothing and a dark-colored sneaker in the water, sources told CBS New York.

"It's a size five-and-a-half Nike Jordan sneakers and a size 16 jeans, which are both what Avonte was wearing on the day he left, which are troubling things to hear," Perecman told reporters Friday at the scene in College Point.

The remains were taken to the Queens County Morgue where the medical examiner will determine who the remains belong to and the cause of death. 

Perecman said police have Avonte's father's DNA on file and that the family is awaiting test results before jumping to any conclusions.

"She's not going to be convinced this is her son until there is something to convince her," Perecman said. "It's not Avonte until it's Avonte."

Avonte, 14, who cannot communicate verbally, was last spotted on surveillance video leaving the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City on Oct. 4.

Surveillance cameras show a school safety officer was the last person to see Avonte before he disappeared.

Since his disappearance, police, relatives and volunteers have blanketed the city with fliers and have combed through train stations, subway lines and waterways in search of him.

Police also received hundreds of tips in the case, but despite a few false alarms, there has been no sign of the teen, reports CBS New York.

A reward for information leading to his safe return reportedly reached up to $95,000.

The location where the remains were found is reportedly roughly 11 miles from Avonte’s school. Sources say the sneaker found at the scene may match the one the teen was wearing when he went missing, CBS New York’s radio affiliate 1010 WINS reports.

In October, Avonte’s family filed a claim to sue the city and the school district for failing to properly supervise the teen. Perecman also said it took the school too long to notify Avonte’s mother about his disappearance.