Freddy Perham: devastated family pays tribute to ‘wonderful’ boy, 17, as police find body after four months

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The 17-year-old disappeared after leaving his family farm in September last year

A “devastated” family has paid tribute to a teenager whose body was found more than four months after he went missing.

Human remains found on Steart Marshes near Bridgwater, Somerset, on 30 January have now been formally identified as 17-year-old Freddy Perham.

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A widespread search for the tragic teen was first launched in September last year when Freddy disappeared after leaving his family farm in Stolford, Somerset.

More than 100 police officers and staff were involved in the effort to find him after his disappearance on 20 September. They 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.

Freddy Perham disappeared after leaving his family farm in September last year (Photo: Avon and Somerset Constabulary / SWNS)Freddy Perham disappeared after leaving his family farm in September last year (Photo: Avon and Somerset Constabulary / SWNS)
Freddy Perham disappeared after leaving his family farm in September last year (Photo: Avon and Somerset Constabulary / SWNS) | Avon and Somerset Constabulary / SWNS

After months without any trace of him, a member of the public reported finding human remains on 30 January, near to Stolford Beach. Formal identification has taken place and sadly, the remains were confirmed to be Freddy.

The family of the teenager have now released a tribute to him via Avon and Somerset Police, remembering Freddy as a “wonderful boy” who will be “terribly missed”.

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The statement said: “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.”

Police search Stolford Seafront for Freddy Perham (Photo:  SWNS)Police search Stolford Seafront for Freddy Perham (Photo:  SWNS)
Police search Stolford Seafront for Freddy Perham (Photo: SWNS) | SWNS

The family went on to thank all those involved in the search for Freddy and for the continued support in the “darkest times”.

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They added: “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.

Human remains were found on Steart Marshes near Bridgwater, Somerset (Photo: SWNS)Human remains were found on Steart Marshes near Bridgwater, Somerset (Photo: SWNS)
Human remains were found on Steart Marshes near Bridgwater, Somerset (Photo: SWNS) | SWNS

“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.”

Avon and Somerset Police said specialist officers continue to support Freddy’s family while enquiries are carried out on behalf of the coroner. The teenagers’ death is being treated as unexplained but is not thought to be suspicious. An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned until November.

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