NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario (WIVB) — A body recovered Thursday in the area of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been identified as the 15-year-old boy who slipped into the Lower Niagara River while fishing earlier this week.

The identity of the body was not known Thursday, but New York State Parks Police Captain Christopher Rola confirmed to News 4 Friday that the body was identified as Kameron Stenzel.

Stenzel and his father traveled to Whirlpool State Park’s Lower Gorge Trail on Monday to try out a new fishing pole Stenzel had received for his birthday. The two had fished there many times before, Stenzel’s mother, Colleen Carey, told News 4 earlier this week.

Carey called Stenzel “the best kid” and said he had a heart of gold. She called him her “gentle giant” and said he loved playing football, loved his family and was known for being happy. She asked the community to “keep hoping for a miracle and keep praying” as the search for Kameron continued earlier this week.

After extensive search and rescue efforts, police announced Thursday that their mission was turning into a recovery effort.

Stenzel was sophomore at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, where he played on the junior varsity football team. He had suffered a concussion earlier this season and was supposed to attend a concussion clinic on Monday, his mother said, but he asked the appointment be rescheduled so he could go fishing with his father.

New York State Parks Police Major Clyde Doty said the body was recovered by Canadian authorities Thursday around 2 p.m.

“It is our sincere hope that Kameron has been found so that his family may find a small piece of closure,” Doty said Thursday.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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