Cops suspect the mutilated body was maimed in the ocean by local marine life, waves, and sharp rocks.
The torso and legs were spotted in broad daylight near the Silver Gull Beach Club in the federally-owned Gateway National Recreation Area, said police.
“It’s not uncommon with the churning current and rocks for this to happen,” a police source told The New York Daily Post.
The city Medical Examiner has yet to conduct an autopsy and disclose the cause of death.
An NYPD spokesperson told Business Insider: “EMS responded and pronounced the aided deceased at the scene. The investigation is ongoing. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. ”
McDonnell’s bike was found at Fort Tilden Beach near Roxbury, a popular swimming location three miles from Breezy Point Beach.
“We believe the Irish filmmaker drowned and this is his torso,” a police source with knowledge of the case said, per New York Daily News.
Detectives are waiting for the results of a DNA comparison. The body would have been dismembered over the course of more than two weeks.
“The identity of the deceased is pending proper family notification,” an NYPD spokesperson told Business Insider.