N.Y. Teen Dies After Falling Into River While Fishing with Dad: 'He Did Not Deserve This,' Mom Says

"His father tried to help him but was not able to rescue him," police said of Kameron Stenzel, 15, who fell into the Niagara River on Oct. 11

Help parents with burial expense for teenage son. Kameron
Kameron Stenzel. Photo: Gofundme

The search for Kameron Stenzel, a 15-year-old boy who went missing last week after falling into the Niagara River, came to a devastating end last week.

On Thursday, four days after Kameron slipped and fell during a fishing trip with his father on Oct. 11, Canadian authorities announced that they had located a body near Niagara-on-the-Lake, according to The Buffalo News. The following day, New York State Police confirmed that the body had been positively identified as the teenage boy.

"On October 11, Kameron was fishing with his father down in the Niagara Gorge," New York State Park Police Detective Sergeant Brian Nisbet said in a statement to NBC station WGRZ. "Kameron's fishing pole, apparently the line got tangled, and he was attempting to retrieve it when he slipped into the lower Niagara River and was swept downstream."

"His father tried to help him but was not able to rescue him," Nisbet continued.

His family learned of the positive identification at a candlelight vigil for their son, according to the Niagara Gazette.

The NYS Park Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Kameron's mother, Colleen Carey, told Buffalo news outlet WIVB that her son and his father had been at Whirlpool State Park's Lower Gorge Trail, a location where they had fished together multiple times.

In order to go on the trip, her son — who suffered a concussion earlier this season during a high school football game — asked her to reschedule his appointment for a concussion clinic, she explained to the outlet.

"He was my gentle giant," she said of him on Wednesday, according to the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. "He did not deserve this."

Help parents with burial expense for teenage son. Kameron
Kameron Stenzel. Gofundme

On Thursday, police shared that search efforts for the boy had transitioned into a recovery mission.

"Our efforts now are changing over — it will be that as a search for recovering. Everyone here our hearts are broken. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family," NYS Parks Police Major Clyde Doty said in a statement, per ABC affiliate WKBW.

Later that evening, after the boy's body had been recovered but not yet identified, police released another statement, sharing that "it is our sincere hope that Kameron has been found so that his family may find a small piece of closure."

"I can't imagine what the father is going through. You take your son out on a fishing trip and it ends in tragedy," Doty said, according to the outlet. "It's a terrible, terrible accident.

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A GoFundMe has been created to help raise money to cover funeral expenses for the family, which includes Kameron's two younger sisters "who miss their big brother."

"I am trying to raise money to help my younger brother Scott pay for funeral expenses for his son Kameron," the organizer wrote on the fundraising page. "Any donations for the funeral would help."

On Monday, Kameron's father shared a message of gratitude, saying that "everyone that shared, donated or sent a kind word" were heroes to him.

"Its those small actions that give me strength and some peace through this horrible tragedy," he wrote.

As of Monday, the GoFundMe has raised over $19,000. Those interested in donating can do so here.

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