- The body was found on Breezy Point Beach in the Rockaways on Friday
- Ross McDonnell, 44-year, went missing nearby earlier this month
- The identity of the body found will not be released until family is notified
An investigation has been launched after a body was discovered on a beach in the Rockaways in New York City.
The NYPD were on the scene at Breezy Point Beach just after noon on Friday after reports of human torso came in to 911.
The discovery comes only weeks after talented Irish filmmaker Ross McDonnell, 44, disappeared from his New York home.
His bike was found at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury – just three miles away from Breezy Point Beach.
The body was found on Breezy Point Beach just after noon on Friday
Ross McDonnell vanished after leaving his home in Brooklyn, New York on the evening of Saturday, November 4
His bicycle was found three days later chained up at at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury
McDonnell, an Emmy award winner, was last spotted at 8:30pm on Saturday, November 4 at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury, where his bicycle was found locked up three days later.
Friend Gene Gallerano told The Irish Times that McDonnell appears to have been on the beach but ‘went out into the ocean’ before disappearing.
The identity of the body found on Friday will not be released until the family is notified.
The city’s Chief Medical Examiner is now looking to establish the exact cause of death.
McDonnel is originally from Dublin and won an Emmy Award in 2021 for his camera work on the Showtime series The Trade.
He had been living in Taaffe Place near DeKalb Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
McDonnel worked extensively across the world including Afghanistan, Ukraine and Mexico and was nominated for another Emmy in 2018 as director of the CNN Films documentary Elián.
The Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner was on site Friday to determine the cause of death
It is not known whether the body was dumped or had washed up on shore
Friends have pleaded for his return and started spreading the word on social media including one who described him as a ‘diamond who is in all our hearts’.
‘Ross and I worked together many times,’ wrote Eoin Butler on X, formerly Twitter.
‘He’s been missing for a week. We’ve been given the go ahead to share this image today. Anyone in New York area… please share.’
‘He is an incredible human and his disappearance has caused indescribable anguish amongst his friends and family,’ added Alexander Kellum.
McDonnell’s first feature film, Colony, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and won an Irish Film and Television Award Nomination.
Investigators were on site throughout much of Friday afternoon
McDonnell’s work as a cameraman, director and photographer has taken him across the world from Bolivia to Ukraine and Afghanistan to Mexico
He is also a talented photographer and was shortlisted for the world’s top photography award the Prix Pictet in 2019 for his work on the theme of ‘hope’.
McDonnell was wearing a red puffy Northface vest, black Northface backpack, black and white sneakers, and dark colored khaki pants when he disappeared.
The New York Police Department appealed for people who may have found his belongings to get in touch.
‘You are not in trouble if you picked up his belongings, we just want to locate ASAP for clues to his disappearance,’ they said.