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Body in river identified as Lorenzo Ajavon, 17

July 12, 2012

The step-mom of 17 year-old Lorenzo Ajavon holds a cell phone showing his picture Thursday. (photo/Ernest A. Brown)

WOONSOCKET – 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.
“It’s a mystery,” said Detective Sgt. Matt Ryan, spokesman for the Woonsocket Police Department. “This isn’t like anything I’ve every encountered before.”
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 “absolutely no signs” of physical trauma on Ajavon’s body and an autopsy does not point to foul play, said Ryan. Still, he said, it’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 Ajavon’s body. Since he had no criminal record, the print didn’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 Ajavon’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 he’d lent it to – Lorenzo Ajavon.
Police went to Ajavon’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.

Read more in our print edition

Comments

For a life cut way too

July 17, 2012 by Sue MacKenzie (not verified), 2 years 22 weeks ago
Comment: 1818

For a life cut way too short

To Lorenzo’s family: I did not know Lorenzo but my son did. He spoke very highly of him and how funny he was. My heart breaks for you. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling. I wish I could say something to make the pain go away but there is nothing anyone can say or do. The tears will fade but the memories never will. Always remember him as he would want to be remembered, with a smile on his face making others laugh.

He will truly be missed by his many friends

Lorenzo Avajon

July 14, 2012 by ozeuri (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1816

My 15 year-old daughter befriended Lorenzo in their Graphic Arts class at the Vocational School in Woonsocket. She said he was a really nice kid who did not get into trouble and was very friendly. My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time of tragedy and loss.

Lorenzo Avajon

July 14, 2012 by ozeuri (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1815

My 15 year-old daughter befriended Lorenzo in their Graphic Arts class at the Vocational School in Woonsocket. She said he was a really nice kid who did not get into trouble and was very friendly. My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time of tragedy and loss.

17 yr. old identified

July 13, 2012 by bigh1327 (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1812

I am a local mother and have a 15 yr old boy myself...this is a tragedy what has happened but one question comes to my mind...Why did the parents never file a missing persons report? It says the last time he was seen was sunday leaving home and not identified til thursday. I know if my son was missing for more then 2 hours i would be looking all over the place for him. My heart goes out to the family i know i would be a mess......

Condolences

July 13, 2012 by evamuessig (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1811

My heart goes out to the family. What a waste of such a young life.

Deepest Sympathies

July 13, 2012 by jencook1 (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1810

My daughter went to school with Lorenzo, such a terrible tragedy. My deepest condolences to the Ajavon family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Jennifer Cook

Thoughts And Prayers

July 14, 2012 by Dave Lawler (not verified), 2 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 1814

I live in his neighborhood and raised three kids here who all have kids of their own. Now at 43 I started over. Now I have a 3 year old and a 19 month old. I do not know how anybody can handle this...I would be out of my mind right now. I hope they get some answers soon. Nobody should ever have to endore this. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ajavon family....Dave Lawler

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