Heartbroken Hull family pays tribute to ‘smart and caring’ teenager found dead

The body discovered in the water next to Hull’s Princes Quay shopping centre on July 19 has been identified as that of missing 17-year-old Fernando Kaminoff.

His family has spoken out about their devastation and paid tribute to their “kind and caring” son, who had been struggling with his mental health shortly before his disappearance.

His older brother, Alin Petre, said they moved to Hull from Romania in 2020 hoping for a better life. He said Fernando was a bright young man who wanted to be a criminal investigator.

Alin, 26, said: “We came over from Romania in search of a better life in 2020. Fernando was very smart and good at languages, and learnt English fluently and very quickly.

“He was kind and caring, and would always help me out with anything if I needed it. When he grew up, he wanted to be a criminal investigator.

“However, he struggled with his mental health and we took him to the hospital and to see a psychologist. When the family returned home from work one day, Fernando wasn’t home.”

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The family realised Fernando was missing on July 16 and began a desperate search for him.

Alin said: “We reported it to the police and checked cameras from friends’ businesses to see which way he went.

“We went looking for him all over the city and wondered if he had gone somewhere else in the country.”

Tragically, three days later, a member of staff at Princes Quay alerted police to a body in the water.

An underwater search team was deployed and Fernando’s body was found.

The family believes Fernando made the tragic decision to end his life. They are now arranging to bring his body to Romania.

Adriana, Fernando’s sister, said: “Fernando was a kind young man with so many aspirations. He loved his country and we want him to rest in peace at home, close to his loved ones.”

In response, the Hull community has joined forces to raise funds for repatriation costs.

Mysterious Minds, a Hull-based organisation dedicated to preventing suicide and supporting bereaved families, initiated the fundraising with a generous donation of £300.

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A spokesperson for Mysterious Minds said: “Fernando moved to Hull in 2020, he loved our city and country but unfortunately life got too hard for him. We pray you are at peace Fernando, only 17 years old.

“God love you and all of your family and friends. Lets’ show Fernando’s family what makes Hull special and how we all come together at such tragic times.

“Let’s help give him the send-off he deserves. Mysterious Minds will be making a donation of £300 towards funeral costs.”

Fernando also attended the National Initiative for Creative Education, in Beverley Road, and staff shared their condolences for the family.

A spokesperson said: “Since last Sunday, we lived in hope that our student Fernando would return home safe and sound.

“Unfortunately, Wednesday brought us the worse news. We are devastated about Fernando’s loss. He was an amazing, talented and very brave young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fernando’s family who is trying to collect funds to bring him back to Romania.”

You can donate to the Kaminoff family’s Go Fund Me page here.

The Samaritans can be reached round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call them on the phone. You can reach them by calling 116 123, by emailing [email protected] or by visiting www.samaritans.org.

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