In Avonte Oquendo case, latest finds 'helpful' says attorney
Additional body parts found over the weekend by NYPD searchers and divers are turning out to be "helpful" in the search for missing 14-year-old autistic schoolboy Avonte Oquendo, an attorney for the teen's family said Monday.
Attorney David Perecman said the latest remains were found late Thursday near the spot on the shoreline of Powell's Cove where a student photographer discovered the first set of body parts recovered by police.
Perecman wouldn't say what remains were recovered or whether they included teeth, which could be used to check against Oquendo's dental records.
A spokeswoman for the city medical examiner didn't return telephone calls or an email seeking comment late Monday. Perecman said he has been told by officials that the results of DNA testing should be available Wednesday.
Perecman said he is delaying filing a lawsuit against the city for Oquendo's disappearance from his Long Island City school until the results are known. Last week, Oquendo's mother turned over a toothbrush her son used and also provided a sample of her own DNA for analysis.
Perecman said officials told him that the skin on the feet of the remains had not deteriorated much, and that the feet and torso had shoes and clothing similar to what Oquendo was wearing when he disappeared.
This may allow investigators to compare Oquendo's footprint on his birth certificate with that of the remains, the attorney said.
Perecman also said he received audiotapes indicating that a school safety agent had confronted Oquendo, asked him what he was doing in the hallway and then told him to go back to class.
After Oquendo disappeared, then-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said a safety agent did stop the boy at the school's main door and told him to go back upstairs. However, additional surveillance tapes showed Oquendo running out of the school.
Perecman said other tapes show Oquendo heading toward the East River.