Remains found in NY could be missing autistic teen

Avonte Oquendo
CBS New York

NEW YORK - Police are investigating whether human remains found along the shoreline in Queens, N.Y. could be those of Avonte Oquendo, an 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.

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.

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.

The remains were taken to the Queens County Morgue for the medical examiner to determine the identity and the cause of death.

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.

The lawyer for Avonte's family, David Perecman, said he spoke to Avonte's mother, Vanessa Fontaine, around 2 a.m. He said she was considering the discovery to be just another tip until she hears something more definitive, reports the Associated Press.

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.