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Families end search for South Florida teens lost at sea

Privately-led search ends after more than 2 weeks

JUPITER, Fla. – The families of two 14-year-old boys who have been lost at sea since July 24 are ending their search for the teenagers.

A spokesman for the families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen said Sunday that the search has run its course.

The decision came as the families faced the harsh reality of no new, credible evidence or clues to guide the search.

"Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical," the spokesman said.

The families also issued a joint statement Sunday.

"We love our boys and want them home," the statement said. "Today, our hope becomes our prayer that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us. We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support."

A family representative said the private search had spanned from the coastline of Jupiter to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Last week, the families said they were thankful for the U.S. Coast Guard's help despite the disappearance of their 19-foot boat after it was located.

The Coast Guard suspended its search July 31.

Stephanos and Cohen were on a fishing trip when they disappeared off the coast of Jupiter. Their capsized boat was discovered two days later.

The Coast Guard does not normally tow boats to shore. Once the Coast Guard determined that nobody was on board, officials marked the location and continued their search.

Anyone who finds items believed to have been on the boys' boat is asked to call 352-222-3314 or email findperryandaustin@gmail.com.

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