The step-mom of 17 year-old Lorenzo Ajavon holds a cell phone showing his picture Thursday. (photo/Ernest A. Brown)
WOONSOCKET â€“ Lorenzo Ajavon was a typical 17-year-old who liked listening to music and shooting hoops with his friends at Globe Park.
He had no track record with the police and no known history of drug involvement, but within hours of leaving his home at 372 Robinson St. Sunday he ended up in the Blackstone River, dead.
How and why are questions that now vex the police.
â€śItâ€™s a mystery,â€ť said Detective Sgt. Matt Ryan, spokesman for the Woonsocket Police Department. â€śThis isnâ€™t like anything Iâ€™ve every encountered before.â€ť
Police identified the teenager late Thursday afternoon, more than 48 hours after the body of the Woonsocket High School senior was discovered on the Woonsocket Falls Dam by a passing motorist.
There were â€śabsolutely no signsâ€ť of physical trauma on Ajavonâ€™s body and an autopsy does not point to foul play, said Ryan. Still, he said, itâ€™s too soon for police to rule out the possibility of a crime pending further investigation by detectives and the completion of toxicology tests, the only unfinished portion of the autopsy. Until then, the cause of death is pending.
With no reports of missing persons or other common leads to work from, the very manner in which police managed to identify Ajavon was something of a feat, said Ryan.
First, the medical examiner lifted a fingerprint from Ajavonâ€™s body. Since he had no criminal record, the print didnâ€™t lead police anywhere, at least not at first.
The key was a RIPTA bus pass that police found in a backpack that was strapped to Ajavonâ€™s back when his body was discovered. The bus pass was not registered to Ajavon, but someone else. Police tracked down that person, who told them the name of the person heâ€™d lent it to â€“ Lorenzo Ajavon.
Police went to Ajavonâ€™s house and took some fingerprints off some items in his room, said Ryan. They matched the prints taken by the medical examiner and, nearly two days after the discovery of his body, police finally knew the identity of the victim.
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