Avonte Oquendo's cause of death inconclusive, officials say

Officials say they are unable to determine if Officials say they are unable to determine if Avonte Oquendo, the autistic teen who went missing on Oct. 4, 2013, and whose remains were pulled from the East River in January, died as a result of an accidental drowning or was the victim of a homicide. Photo Credit:

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Investigators are unable to say definitively if 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, whose remains were pulled from the East River in January, died as a result of an accidental drowning or was the victim of a homicide, officials said Wednesday.

"The cause of death is undetermined, the manner of death is undetermined," said a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The inconclusive results come after weeks of toxicological and other scientific tests on Oquendo's remains, found last month in the waters off Queens. The autistic teen disappeared in early October from his school in Long Island City in Queens and was the subject of an intense search throughout the city.

Oquendo's remains were identified through DNA testing that compared his samples with those of his mother and some taken from his toothbrush.

Attorney David Perceman, who represents Oquendo's family, said last night in a statement that his mother has mixed feelings about the findings.

"While the report excludes gross evidence of trauma, it leaves open questions of what may have happened to Avonte that are not discernible from the body," Perceman said.

Comments

Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: