A headless, armless body was discovered at Breezy Point Beach, in Queens, New York, on Friday afternoon. Police say the body may belong to Ross McDonnell, an Irish Emmy-winning filmmaker who is missing in New York.
On Friday, November 17, a body was discovered on Breezy Point Beach, in Queens. Police believe the body, found without arms or a head, could be that of Ross McDonnell (44), a Dublin filmmaker who was last seen at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury, on November 4. Authorities suspect the body was dismembered in the ocean over the last two weeks by the sharp rocks, waves, and local marine life.
Friends and family have been searching for McDonnell since his disappearance when his bicycle was discovered by Fort Tilden Beach. Police believe the body found just three miles away at Breezy Point is that of the Irish filmmaker.
Police officers responded at 12:30 pm on Friday when the body was discovered in the sand on Breezy Point Beach. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
According to New York Daily News, investigators believe that McDonnell drowned having gone for a swim on November 4. A DNA test will confirm their suspicions.
McDonnell lived at Taaffe Place near DeKalb Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. He was last seen at 8.30pm, on Saturday, November 4. After his disappearance, his bike was found at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury.
His friend and colleague Gene Gallerano told the Irish Times that McDonnell "went out into the ocean" before he disappeared.
My good friend and amazing photographer and film maker Ross McDonnell is missing in seas off NYC. 💔 He is from Howth in Dublin but has travelled the world … and some ….capturing the lives of many. Emmy award winning, compassionate, humble and so many plans. 💔 💔 @ioangrillo pic.twitter.com/XcpMu7bvKt— Nicola Tallant (@nicolatallantsw) November 12, 2023
Before he went missing, McDonnell was wearing a red puffy Northface vest, black Northface backpack, black and white sneakers, and dark-colored khaki pants. The NYPD has appealed for people who may have found his belongings to get in touch.
McDonnell, from Howth, in north Dublin, is a three-time Emmy Award-winning director, producer and cinematographer. Throughout his career, he has worked on documentaries, commercials, and feature films as well as photography.
His first feature documentary on bees, "Colony" (2009), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. "Colony" was a winner at IDFA and nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award. His 2017 documentary "Ellán" was IDA and Emmy nominated.
McDonnell is a long-term resident of New York and regularly travels between Dublin and the US for work.
Anyone with information on Ross McDonnell's whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD. The identity of the body found on Friday will not be released until the family is notified.