Missing Irish filmmaker Ross McDonnell confirmed dead by family

The Emmy-winning director, cinematographer, and photographer went missing in New York on Nov. 4.

The family of Irish director and cinematographer Ross McDonnell confirmed that the Emmy winner has died after he was reported missing in New York City earlier this month. He was 44.

An obituary for the filmmaker published on RIP.IE stated that McDonnell died “unexpectedly” on Nov. 5. The announcement comes after a body was discovered on a beach in New York City that seemed to be the remains of McDonnell, law enforcement sources told NBC News.

“He will be very sadly missed by his loving parents, sister, niece, aunt, uncles, cousins, extended family, and his many dear friends, LJ, and also his colleagues in Ireland, U.S.A., and around the World,” McDonnell’s obituary read.

<p>Matthew Simmons/WireImage</p> Ross McDonnell

Matthew Simmons/WireImage

Ross McDonnell

McDonnell went missing on Nov. 4 after going on a bike ride in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. His bike was found in Queens at Fort Tilden Beach. On Nov. 17, authorities found a dismembered body on Breezy Point Beach, not far from Fort Tilden. The corpse consisted of just a torso and legs; no head or arms were found.

A cause of death has not been determined. However, NBC News reported that sources said there is no indication of foul play or suicide, as authorities suspect McDonnell went for a swim and drowned. New York Daily News reported that a police source said authorities think the body was dismembered by the tides, rocks, and marine life for two weeks before washing ashore. Variety reported that authorities, working alongside the Irish consulate, are still investigating the case as they await DNA results.

McDonnell won two cinematography Emmys: one for the Showtime documentary The Trade and another for the National Geographic COVID-19 documentary The First Wave. He was also nominated for an Emmy for Elián, a documentary about Elián González that he co-directed with Tim Golden.

He is survived by his parents Maureen and Nicky, sister Louise, and niece Eva.

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