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Queens Chronicle

Cause of Avonte Oquendo's death unknown: medical examiner

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:59 pm | Updated: 11:39 am, Thu Mar 13, 2014.

The Medical Examiner’s Office reported on Feb. 27 that the cause of Avonte Oquendo’s death could not be determined.

The 14-year-old autistic boy’s remains washed ashore in College Point in January after he disappeared from his school in Long Island City. 

Suspicions of foul play have been thrown around by the media while others believe Avonte drowned. As the body decomposed a significant amount, the ME could not ascertain if any of the rumors are true.

Video surveillance showed Avonte sprinting through the empty halls before bolting through an open door and running toward Gantry Plaza State Park.

The boy’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine headed a citywide search until it was confirmed he was dead.

Fontaine and her lawyer intend to sue the city and the Department of Education for the wrongful death of her son. 

Court papers were filed challenging the NYPD’s rejection of a Freedom of Information Law request from Fontaine’s attorney in October that asked for video surveillance and any other information that could assist in the search for Avonte.

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