FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A boat belonging to two teens who went missing at sea has been brought to Port Everglades.
After 10 months at sea, the boat that carried Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen on their ill-fated fishing trip last summer is back in South Florida. The boys, however, remain missing.
The boat came off a massive cargo ship, Yorktown Express, at Port Everglades Monday evening and a short time later investigators with Florida Fish and Wildlife were removing the boat from it’s container and loading the boat onto a trailer.
It’s believed to be inside a warehouse at the FWC offices. FWC officials said they will examine the boat then turn it over to its’ owner.
Perry Cohen’s mother hopes that boat will yield critical clues to their disappearance.
It’s been two months since a Norwegian fishing vessel found the boat. The boys’ haven’t been seen since.
The boat was discovered capsized 100 miles off the coast of the Bahamas in March. On board was Austin’s iPhone. After the find, Cohen’s mother hoped the evidence would lead investigators to answers about what became of the teens.
“We need to try and find something out. This is a miraculous find that the phone and the boat were recovered…I think they were begging to be recovered,” said his mother Pamela Cohen.
An attorney for the Cohen family sent a letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) late last week, asking for the agency to step in and investigate the case.
The family says the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission no longer has an open case into the boys’ disappearance.
“We don’t understand why FWC would close their investigation upon the discovery of new evidence. We don’t understand why they would say we’re going to look instead of telling us with confidence they’re going to do everything to evaluate the vessel,” said the attorney.
The attorney says the Cohen family wants FDLE to perform a forensic exam on the boat for any clues. The attorney says the family of Austin Stephanos is open to that as well.
As for the iPhone, the Cohen’s attorney says they are hoping to send the phone to a third-party who will search the phone for any texts, emails or pictures that might help uncover what became of Perry and Austin.
“She’s determined to get every piece of information and speak for Perry because he can’t,” said Pamela Cohen.
A spokesperson for FDLE said they received the letter from the Cohen’s attorney and are reviewing it. However, they said they must have a criminal reason to launch an investigation.