The remains of Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who went missing last October, may have been unearthed in College Point, Queens on Friday.

Avonte Oquendo Remains

A photography student traversing the area alongside the East River saw what she thought were human remains. The Fashion Institute of Technology student informed law enforcement, who searched the area on Thursday. Evidence uncovered at the scene included body parts, clothing and a pair of sneakers. Although they’ve yet to confirm the link to Oquendo, it’s strongly believed they’ve found the missing teen’s remains.

“Unfortunately, there is good reason to think it’s him,” the Oquendo family lawyer, David Perecman, told the New York Daily News. “It’s more than just speculation.”

“[The family] is distraught, but they’re hopeful it’s not him,” Perecman said. “They remain optimistic that he’s still out there.”

Investigators think that when Oquendo left school undetected on Oct. 4, he took off towards Newtown Creek, where there are shrubbery-covered rocky and hilled areas. It’s suspected the young teen may have lost his footing and fallen down towards the water.

“It drops down all of a sudden, so if you’re running and you’re not careful, you can fall about 30 feet into the East River,” a police source told the Daily News.

NYC Searches For Missing Autistic Teen

After Oquendo went missing from Riverview School last fall, numerous efforts were made to locate him. Since he was known to be fascinated with the subway system, MTA workers searched tunnels in NYC boroughs Brooklyn and Queens. Flyers were placed all over the city by volunteers and there was a reward for $90,000.

“I can only imagine what Oquendo ‘s parents have gone through,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “What we know today is that the remains have arrived at the medical examiner’s office. They will be analyzed. We don’t know exactly when we’re going to have an answer but my heart goes out to this family.”

– Chelsea Regan

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