NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Parks Police say a body was by Canadian authorities near Niagara on the Lake Thursday afternoon. Police say they're working to determine if it belongs to 15-year-old Kameron Stenzel of Sanborn, who accidentally fell into the Niagara River Monday afternoon.
On Thursday Parks Police announced the search for the teen was now a recovery effort.
"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," stated Major Clyde Doty, New York State Parks Police.
Police said around 11:00 a.m. Monday there was a report of a 15-year-old boy who was fishing with his father at Whirlpool State Park who fell into the water and did not resurface. Emergency officials responded and there have been air, land and water searches conducted from Whirlpool to the Village of Youngstown to this point and he has not been found.
The boy was identified by police Thursday as 15-year-old Kameron, who is a student at Niagara-Wheatfield High School.
In a statement Thursday evening, Major Clyde Doty with New York State Parks Police said of the body that was recovered, "It is our sincere hope that Kameron has been found so that his family may find a small piece of closure."
The Ontario Forensic Pathology Center is leading the investigation into the identification of the body.
“I can’t imagine what the father is going through. You take your son out on a fishing trip and it ends in tragedy,” stated Doty.
Police say he accidentally slipped into the lower gorge late Monday morning while fishing with his father.
“The waters are unforgiving. If you slip and fall — you fall in the water — it's unforgiving,” responded Major Doty.
State parks police continue an extensive search with other agencies including U.S. Boarder Patrol, Coast Guard, Niagara Parks Police, helicopters and Whirlpool jet boats.
“It’s a terrible, terrible accident,” remarked Major Doty.
Major Doty says it is believed the boy slipped on a rock while fishing, falling into the thundering waters of the Niagara River.
“He was on a rock and had some algae — the rock was slippery the rock was wet and he slipped in and slide into the water,” explained Major Doty.
Kameron's mom, Colleen posted community request on facebook a few days ago asking for prayers and for anyone who lives by the gorge in Lewiston and Youngstown to look out for her son.
She wrote “Kameron baby I love you and I won't stop looking for you — Momma is still looking for you".
Kameron's mom did not want to be interviewed but she tells me they will search “up and down” the gorge in “hopes of a miracle.”
“They're so devastated. They didn't want to speak — to anyone — hardly to me even on just messenger,” John Restaino remarked.
Restanio, brother to the Niagara Falls mayor, is a friend of the mother set up this Gofundme page for the family to help them out.
“Colleen — for example — she’s got to go to work — and she’s got bills and I don’t know how she’s going to go, so we just figured this would be great for that,” replied Restaino.
“Everyone here — our hearts are broken — our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and we're going to continue to do everything we can possibly do to bring closure to the family,” said Major Doty.
Major Doty says they will continue to search the rest of this week and into the weekend for the recovery effort.
“We are extremely confident he’s not in the gorge,” Major Doty explained. “He’s not in the gorge he’s not clinging to a rock on the gorge’s edge.”
The Niagara Wheatfiled School District issued the following statement to it's school community:
Dear Niagara Wheatfield Families,
As you may be aware, one of our NW family’s is dealing with a traumatic event.
On Monday, October 11, one of our students, Kameron Stenzel, slipped and fell into the Niagara Gorge.
We are honoring the family’s wishes, and will only provide updated information as received through the family. Counseling Services will be available in the School Counseling Center for any student in need of support. Additionally, families can find information on our website that may be helpful regarding dealing with trauma. Here is the link: https://www.nwcsd.org/page/family-support [nwcsd.org]
Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.