BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Colleen Carey tells News 4 she’s hoping for a miracle as the search for her 15-year-old son continues after he fell into the Niagara River while fishing at Whirlpool State Park Monday morning.
“It’s just non-stop looking. We’re just trying to find him. We’re hoping for a miracle, we’re hoping that we find him alive,” Carey said.
Carey, who works nights, was sleeping when her son Kameron Stenzel headed to Whirlpool State Park’s Lower Gorge Trail to try out his new fishing pole she gifted him for his birthday. Stenzel was with his father at the gorge, the two had fished there many times before, Carey told us.
Kameron Stenzel, a sophomore at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, plays on the junior varsity football team and suffered a concussion early in the season. His mother said Kameron was supposed to attend a concussion clinic on Monday, but instead, he asked the appointment be rescheduled so he could go fishing with his father.
“I texted him back and told him I rescheduled your appointment. I didn’t get a text message back from him, because I knew he was fishing, but I didn’t know he was down at the gorge,” Carey said. “He told me on Sunday when we were together, he said me and dad are going fishing – it’s salmon season.”
Colleen Carey shared with us what detectives said happened to Kameron. She said the 15-year-old was fishing when his line got snagged on something in the water and went to pull on the line. He slipped into the rushing water and held onto a rock while his father desperately tried to rescue him. She said Kameron was swept away by the current.
Since Monday, Carey tells us she has been searching for her son every day.
“I met a man last night, he told me he’s been out there every single night until two o’clock in the morning looking for him,” Carey told News 4. “I’ve met some incredible people helping me out here. We have a good search team out here. I’m thankful for the Coast Guard, the Park Police, Homeland Security is out here.”
Colleen Carey said Kameron is “the best kid” and has a heart of gold. She calls him her “gentle giant” and said he loves playing football, he loved his family and is always happy.
She wants the community to “keep hoping for a miracle and keep praying” as the search for Kameron continues.
On Thursday, police announced that the search efforts are now turning into a recovery effort, instead of a rescue. Essentially, that means officials are looking for a body.
Agencies helping State Park Police in the search include Niagara Falls Fire, Border Patrol, New York State Police, US Coast Guard, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours and Canadian Park Police. The search has included shoreline, air and vessel searches.
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