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According to the New York Police Department, officers responded to a 911 call just before 12:30pm on Friday about a human torso, with legs attached, found lying in the sand at Breezy Point Beach in Queens.
The New York City medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death.
Though the body has yet to be identified formally, law enforcement said that the remains could be those of 44-year-old Ross McDonnell, who disappeared earlier this month, according to NBC News.
Mr McDonnell was last seen November 4 leaving his apartment in the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, neighborhood on a bicycle, according to a missing person’s notice. The NYPD said he was spotted leaving his home on Taaffe Place in Brooklyn around 8.30pm local time.
His locked bike was reportedly found at the Fort Tilden beach three days later on 7 November.
Friends of the three-time Emmy winner said it is believed that the filmmaker, originally from Howth, north of Dublin, had been on the beach and went out in the ocean.
According to NBC, no foul play is suspected in the case and there is no indication of suicide, per police sources, who added that it was possible that Mr McDonnell went for a swim and got caught in the current before drowning.
The investigation is ongoing and authorities are working with the Irish consulate and awaiting DNA results.
"He was last seen last Saturday night, the alarm was sounded on Sunday, we don’t know much more than that," Gene Gallerano, a close friend of Mr McDonnell, told The Irish Times.
"It’s been a very, very emotionally heavy week."
The filmmaker has been described as a 5’9” tall man of athletic build and with a distinctively Irish accent.
Mr McDonnell’s debut feature film Colony premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the IDFA First Feature Award as well as an Irish Film and Television Award Nomination, according to his website.