The families of two Florida teenagers who disappeared off the Florida coast during a fishing trip last year suspect that foul play may have been involved, a suspicion that authorities have taken seriously for several months, court documents and investigative records reveal. The boys, Perry Cohen and his longtime friend Austin Stephanos, who would both now be 15, remain missing more than nine months after they vanished July 24, , while on a fishing trip. Their marooned fishing boat was discovered off Bermuda last month, with an iPhone and a tackle box on board, the Coast Guard said. The iPhone, which was heavily damaged by saltwater, is at the center of a legal dispute between the boys' families. Pamela Jill Cohen, Perry's mother, has sued Austin's parents, Carly Black and William Blu Stephanos, demanding that the phone be turned over to third-party investigators for professional examination. The phone belonged to Austin, but in her legal action, Perry's mother says her son's phone was broken, so the boys agreed to share use of Austin's phone, and thus she has a compelling interest in its contents.
Families hold out hope for Florida teens missing at sea
Rescuers cling to hope in search for two Florida teens missing at sea | Florida | The Guardian
Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, have not been seen since July 24, when they took a fishing trip off the coast of Florida on Austin's boat. Two days later, the foot vessel was found capsized during a widespread search for the teens. They are now presumed dead. This isn't the first battle between the families.
Missing Stephanos & Perry Cohen's final message to their mom at sea
Father of Austin Stephanos, who, along with Perry Cohen, went missing at sea last July, goes 'On the Record' on what he believes authorities will find on his son's iPhone and why he believes there's foul play in the case. The lawsuit alleges that Black should have stopped the boys from going out in the ocean as a storm approached and should have properly equipped the boat with a radio, a location device and other safety equipment. Cohen said in the lawsuit the defendants knew Perry was not allowed out on the ocean without an adult onboard and knew the boys went out fishing the day before in a storm but didn't tell her. There is no easy way to move forward.
By Hannah Parry For Dailymail. But within a few hours their boat was hit by a storm as winds of up to 40mph whipped through the inlet area, PEOPLE report. Scroll down for video.