Cause of Avonte Oquendo’s Death Undetermined

February 26, 2014 Updated: February 27, 2014

NEW YORK—The New York City medical examiner’s office said the cause and manner of death for a 14-year-old autistic boy who was missing for months cannot be determined.

Avonte Oquendo disappeared from his Queens school on Oct. 4, setting off a massive search that included extensive searches of subway tunnels and regular announcements over at subway stations.

“Avonte’s mother’s reaction was mixed. While she would like closure, she didn’t get complete closure,” said David Perecman, the Oquendo family’s lawyer.

“They’ve only got certain pieces of his body. You don’t really know what went on.”

The boy’s remains were found in the East River in January, several miles from where he vanished. Oquendo had a form of autism that made him nonverbal.

The family’s lawyer has filed a notice of claim, the first step in suing the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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