In a case that drew national attention, the remains of a teen with autism have been found more than three months after he disappeared from his New York City school prompting a massive search.
Avonte Oquendo, 14, who had autism and was nonverbal, left his school Oct. 4 and had not been seen since.
Now, a DNA test has confirmed that remains discovered late last week along the East River are those of Oquendo, according to Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner’s office.
Officials have yet to determine a cause of death and it remains unclear how Oquendo’s body arrived at the shoreline several miles from the school where he was last seen.
The case drew alarm from many parents of children with autism who wondered how an individual with the developmental disorder could leave school unnoticed.
Wandering is a significant issue for many on the spectrum, with a survey conducted by the Interactive Autism Network finding that about half of kids with autism have a tendency to bolt.