SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — The decomposed body discovered Sunday near a pier in Sunset Park has been identified as that of 20-year-old Aziz Chirkeev, a Kyrgyz immigrant who vanished April 3, after finishing his shift at an orthodontic office in Sheepshead Bay.
The Department of Homeland Security helped the Medical Examiner make the identification, using fingerprints.
Family friend, Ella Alexa, said police told Aziz' mother they believe he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in the early hours of April 4. This assessment is based on surveillance footage they have of a climber on the bridge about 1:04 a.m.
A bridge worker apparently yelled out to the young man. The footage shows the climber, who had a similar body-type to Aziz, throwing his jacket and then his cell phone into the water.
The friend believes Aziz was having trouble adjusting to life in the United States.
When PIX11 met Aziz' mother April 21, she was tearfully holding out hope that her only child would be found safe.
Aziz had called his mother, Nurkan Chirkeeva, twice — after finishing work at the dental lab that Monday night, April 3. First, he said he was going to McDonald's on Avenue U. Later, his mother said he wanted to take the subway to go visit Central Park.
A surveillance check at the Columbus Circle subway station showed Aziz made it to the park area, swiping his Metro Card about midnight, a few hours after he finished work. He then apparently took the subway south to the Brooklyn Bridge station.
An NYPD source told PIX11 recently that there was surveillance footage indicating Aziz Chirkeev may have ended his life. But there was no definitive identification of Chirkeev on the footage.
Nurkan Chirkeeva was a devoted mother who had raised her son alone.
When Aziz was 16, Chirkeeva left him with relatives in Kyrgystan and emigrated to New York, renting an apartment in Brighton Beach.
She got work as a home health aide and started saving money, so she could bring her son to the U.S. He arrived last July 26, when he was 19 years old. He turned 20 earlier this year.
His mother told PIX11 he had two friends from Kyrgystan who were living in New York when Aziz arrived, but they went home to the Kyrgyz Republic this past December.
The family friend said Aziz Chirkeev had posted a short poem to a Kyrgyz chat room, before he disappeared. He lamented about having "no one to be in love with, no one to share my life with." He talked about having "scars" that won't heal.
Police were reluctant to show Aziz' mother his body, because it was badly decomposed. But she said she wouldn't move from the apartment, unless she could see her son.
So the grieving mother saw a partial view of the body and then took her son's sneakers home.
The friend said Nurkan Chirkeeva gave her son a computer, cell phone, and iPad, hoping to make him happy here. But it seems clear he missed Kyrgystan.
The Kyrgyz Republic is located in Central Asia and it's one of 15, former Soviet bloc nations.
Aziz Chirkeev's mother now plans to bury her son in the land where he was born.