A lawyer for Noah Donohoe's mother has said a full inquest into the teenager's death will start in January 2022
The body of the 14-year-old schoolboy was found in a storm drain in north Belfast in June 2020, six days after he went missing.
Niall Murphy was speaking after a pre-inquest hearing.
He appealed for anyone in the "homeless community" in Belfast who may have information about Noah being assaulted to contact police.
Mr Murphy said there was a line of enquiry which "requires further investigation, in respect of statements received by police that Noah was assaulted as he cycled through the city centre."
He said there was "reason to believe that there is a particular and specific knowledge of this assault in the homeless community and with those struggling with addiction issues, both in the city centre and also from people who were residents at Queens Quarter housing association in University Street, specifically people resident there in June."
A previous coroner's hearing, examining the disappearance and death of the schoolboy, was told there was no evidence that he was attacked, or that any other person was involved.
A post-mortem examination found Noah died as a result of drowning.