Avonte Oquendo's family has not given up hope that he may still be found, even after remains washed ashore late last week. The family of the 14-year-old boy missing since October are waiting for DNA test results to confirm whether or not the remains are that of their loved one.
A bystander initially found an arm and legs, as well as a pair of sneakers, near the College Point Yacht Club. Now authorities have found a skull and most of the remains of the body that could be Avonte's. Police notified Avonte's family of the possibility that those remains belong to the boy who was last seen leaving his school in Long Island City.
One thing causing the family pain is the fact that underwear located on the remains are a different brand and size than Avonte wore. This leads them to believe that either the body is not Avonte's or that something sinister happened to him.
"If it is him, what that indicates to me is that something happened," David Perecman, a lawyer for the Oquendo family, told the New York Post. "Someone got ahold of him, moved him. I can't say they harmed him, but why would the underwear have gotten changed?"
Avonte suffered from autism and could not speak, leading to a frenzied search throughout Manhattan and the surrounding areas. The MTA issued descriptions of Avonte during rides, hoping that passengers would remember seeing the boy at some point. Posters covered the city and a $95,000 reward was issued for information leading to his return.
"You have to have a lot of strength to convince yourself that this isn't Avonte," Perecman told DNA Info. "The sneakers apparently were tied pretty tightly to his feet. He had socks on, which means the skin condition of his feet are good enough to obtain a print from."
DNA tests could be in as early as Wednesday Jan. 22.