WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The search for Pelham High School grad and world traveler Harry Devert, who went missing in Mexico in January, ended on a tragic note Saturday after he was confirmed dead by his family.
The confirmation came after DNA-mapping results from Mexican labs showed a positive match between discovered remains and his mother, Ann Devert of New Rochelle. according to a family spokesperson.
Harry Devert, 32, went missing 175 days ago on Jan. 25 while traveling in Mexico by motorcycle on his way to Brazil for the World Cup. Mexican authorities found remains in two plastic bags near a motorcycle with an identification number matching that of Devert on July 13.
Information had been circulating in news stories from Mexican media outlets linking Devert's disappearance to drug cartel activity.
Mary Ciccone, a longtime family friend, said she was devastated by the loss, because Devert was like a son to her.
"Twenty-three years ago, my family and his family moved into houses next to each other on the same day," she said. "My children and Harry bonded the same day and they've been friends ever since.
"The love they have for each other is indescribable. They feel like lost a brother. We lost a member of our family. In my mind, I lost a son."
She said she believed her children would get through the loss with the help of Devert's many friends.
"This boy was loved and he was a good, good boy," Ciccone said. "All he wanted to do was help people. That's why he loved to travel. I know when he traveled all these years he was in orphanages helping out. He would do anything he could do to help others. That was Harry, that's what he was about. He always saw the good in people."
Devert's biography on his blog, A New Yorker Travels, states: "There is so much good and so much to love in this world I sometimes can’t understand how people find time to hate things or even find enough things to be upset about. I believe life is short and that we need to make the most of it, and while many people say this, I truly try and live my life accordingly."
Ciccone added that Devert's friends and family are gathering around her New Rochelle home to support one another in this difficult time, as they wait for his mother to return from Mexico.
Services have yet to be scheduled.