The family of missing Dubliner Ross McDonnell are awaiting DNA results to determine whether human remains discovered on a New York beach are those of the acclaimed photographer.
Mr McDonnell has not been seen since November 7th and the human remains were discovered on a beach in the borough of Queens over the weekend.
Emergency services arrived at Breezy Point Beach in Queens just after 12pm on Friday after remains were discovered, close to where Mr McDonnell, an acclaimed photographer and filmmaker, is last known to have been seen.
While the body hadn’t been officially identified as of Tuesday morning, sources for the New York Police Department (NYPD) have said that the remains may be those of Mr McDonnell, a 44-year-old New York resident, who was last seen on November 4th, leaving his apartment in Bedford-Stuyvestant, Brooklyn, on his bicycle.
Several days after his last sighting, his bike was discovered by friends, locked at Tilden Beach in Queens, close to where the remains were found, after they conducted a search, when he’d missed a lunch appointment and not returned calls or texts for several days.
The remains were discovered in sand close to the Silver Gull Beach Club, which is situated in the federally-owned Gateway National Recreation Area.
Mr McDonnell had lived in Brooklyn for several years, and had often travelled overseas for work. He had worked extensively in Mexico and Afghanistan, and was an award-winning director and cinematographer, clinching an Emmy for his work on the Showtime docuseries ‘The Trade’, about the opioid epidemic, as well as being nominated for another as director for the CNN-produced documentary ‘Elian’.
Gene Gallerano, a close friend, and long-term colleague said; ‘At this stage, we’re just respecting the wishes of Ross’s family. It’s been a heart-breaking time for them, for all of us’.
The New York City Medical Examiner is currently conducting an autopsy on the remains to determine the cause of death, and the Irish consulate is assisting with the investigation, as DNA results are awaited upon.
Ross McDonnell’s family has not yet issued any comment following the discovery.