Austin and Perry: Cell phone shipped to Apple
An emergency hearing Friday led to an agreement between the parents of missing Tequesta teenagers Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen. The families agreed over the analysis of Austin’s recently recovered cell phone. The iPhone was shipped Friday to Apple headquarters in California. Any data retrieved from the phone will go directly to a judge, who will review it, and share pertinent information with the families. That decision pleased both families. Blu Stephanos says his original plan was to jump on a plane to California and deliver the phone to Apple himself.
Austin and his friend Perry vanished this past July, after heading out the Jupiter Inlet, to go fishing. The boys’ boat was pulled from the water off Bermuda, in March, by a passing Norwegian ship. Austin’s phone was recovered from the boat and returned to his father last week. Perry’s mother, Pamela, had sued, asking the judge to take custody of the phone in the hopes of finding any new information to shed light on what happened to the two teens.
Statement from Pamela Cohen on April 27:
Statement from Pamela Cohen:
“First and foremost, my family and I would like to thank all of our family, friends, community and everyone else involved with our story for your support, compassion and love.
The past 8 and a half months have been the most grueling and life shattering anyone could imagine. Two beautiful boys went out for a day of fun never to return or be heard from again.
As Perry’s mother – I have no choice but to do whatever is humanly possible to obtain any bit of information to what happened to him on that fateful day. You see, my days and nights are filled with haunting and terrifying questions – questions that seemed could, and never would be answered. Now there is a new hope, and all I am looking for is a proper investigation with the most astute authorities to do what they are best at.
You see, I signed a consent form and turned over all of Perry’s electronic devices to authorities without question so that it may lead them to some direction of where the boys may have been headed or what their plans were during the USCG search and rescue.
Some of you may not agree with our choice to take this into the public forum or to fight to keep the phone with authorities; and that is ok. You are entitled to your opinion as we all are. We are only asking for transparency – it’s that simple. All I want is the information available, if there is any, pertaining to the fateful day of their disappearance. I am not interested in exploiting the private and personal photos which may be recovered – this has never been our intention.
I ask you, if you kissed your child goodbye, and never saw them again, without any information – I would believe that if evidence that could contain some answers to what happened to your beloved child were found, you would want a neutral party to properly and thoroughly investigate that evidence.
This is what I will fight for until I can no longer fight. I will take my last breath fighting for my darling son Perry if it is necessary.”
Statement from Blue Stephanos on April 25.
With regards to my Son’s iPhone; we’ve been working very closely with FWC since they received the phone and have the utmost confidence in them. In addition, we’ve been working with the phone’s manufacturer who seems willing to help us try to get the phone operational again. That would be the first order of business, since Austin’s phone has been submerged in salt water for over eight months. We’ve also had an IT expert access the phone’s Cloud backup and, unfortunately, found that it had never been enabled.
In light of the recent San Bernardino incident involving attempts by the FBI to retrieve data from a locked iPhone, we felt that it would be best to avoid the pressures of having these efforts played out in the media. We didn’t want to do anything publicly that might jeopardize the cooperation of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, I feel that the recent publicity and wild speculation may have done just that.
Of course, any relevant information that might be retrieved from Austin’s phone will be shared with the Cohen family and the proper authorities.
To me, this phone represents a connection with my son, so I thank you all for your continued support and understanding in this very sensitive, and very personal, matter.