The family of a Somerset teenager who went missing in September last year have released a statement paying tribute to him and thanking all those involved in the search for him.
Freddy Perham, 17, went missing from his home in the Stolford area on 20 September.
More than 100 police officers and staff were involved in the effort to find him and were supported by partner agencies including His Majesty’s Coastguard, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, BARB Search and Rescue, Exmoor Search and Rescue, Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue and the Search and Rescue Dog Association.
A member of the public subsequently located human remains on 30 January, near to Stolford Beach.
Formal identification has taken place and sadly, the remains were confirmed to be Freddy.
His family have now released the following statement:
“There are no words to describe the overwhelming grief we have as a family at the loss of Freddy.
“The five months that Freddy was missing, were torturous, not knowing where he was, or whether he was alive. And whilst the news of his death is devastating, now that he’s been found and returned to our family we can lay Freddy to rest and grieve.”
“Freddy was a wonderful boy. His carefree and infectious spirit was loved and cherished by all his family and friends and knowing we will never experience that again leaves us with a huge hole that can never be filled. We hope that he is now at peace.
“Freddy our son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, you will be terribly missed.
“As a family, we want to say thank you to so many people who supported in the search for Freddy and continue to support us in our darkest times.
“To the police, we thank you for your relentless efforts to find Freddy. The care you have shown us will not be forgotten.
“We know the police were supported by many other specialist search agencies and volunteers and we say thank you to you as well for giving so much of yourselves to us.
“To our friends, our community and all the people we have never met that offered us their prayers, their support and their time, we are grateful to you and be in no doubt that your care and compassion was felt daily.”
Specialist officers continue support Freddy’s family while enquiries are carried out on behalf of the coroner.
An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned until November.