Mom of teen who fell into Niagara River hopes for a miracle

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Colleen Carey is hoping for a miracle as the search continues for her 15-year-old son who fell into the Niagara River.

“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. Her son, Kameron Stenzel, reportedly fell in while fishing at Whirlpool State Park Monday morning.

Carey works nights and was asleep when he headed to the parks’ Lower Gorge Trail to try out the new fishing rod she gave him for his birthday. Stenzel was with his father at the gorge, and Carey says they had fished there many times before.

Stenzel, a sophomore at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, plays on the junior varsity football team and suffered a concussion early in the season. Carey said he was supposed to attend a concussion clinic on Monday, but instead, he asked to reschedule the appointment so he could go fishing.

“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.'”

Carey said detectives told her that Stenzel went to pull on his line when it snagged on something in the water. He reportedly slipped into the rushing water and held onto a rock while his father desperately tried to rescue him. She said her son was swept away by the current.

Courtesy: Colleen Carey

Since Monday, Carey says 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 said. “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.

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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