Mom of Missing Florida Teens Wants Boat Examined for Evidence of a Possible Crime
The mom of one of the teenage Florida fishermen who vanished at sea last summer wants authorities to investigate their boat as a crime scene now that it's been recovered.
Pamela Cohen, mother of Perry Cohen, has asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to examine the grim possibility now that the boys' boat has been towed back to Florida.
The 19-foot fishing boat was found floating near Bermuda in March, some eight months after 14-year-olds Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen leaving Jupiter, Florida on a fishing trip.
In a letter to the FWC, Cohen's attorney, Guy Rubin, asked the FWC to do more than a cursory investigation of the boat, as the agency has publicly said it would.
"The FWC has indicated publicly it would 'take a look' at the boat when it arrives at Port Everglades, however my client would like FWC to do more than just 'take a look,'" he wrote.
Rubin said the family doesn't necessarily believe a crime took place when the boys vanished during a July 2015 storm, but he said they want the possibility eliminated.
"This is not to say we believe a crime was committed, but rather nothing should be ruled out until the vessel is fully examined," Rubin wrote.
Rubin said the investigation should be turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement if the FWC declines to follow Cohen's request.
In response, the FWC simply restated its belief that no crime occurred on the boat.
"The FWC will examine the vessel for any new information, and return the boat to the (Stephanos) family," spokesman Robert Klepper said in an email.
According to Rubin's letter, Austin's mother, Carly Black, also wants the vessel fully examined.
The letter comes after an iPhone found aboard the boat failed to yield any information after months of exposure to salt water.
Weeks of intense searching failed to find either boy last summer.