Search dog finds life jackets possibly belonging to missing teens

Families say they 'do not consider results to be conclusive'


TEQUESTA, Fla. – The families of two 14-year-old boys who have been lost at sea since July 24 said they do not consider two life jackets found along the Georgia coast by a search dog to be positively connected to their loved ones, WPTV reported.

"The canine field evaluation was made by a single dog and its handler. We do not consider the results to be conclusive" the families said in a joint statement released Thursday. "The canine team provided preliminary indications that informed the search effort. None of the article recovered on the Georgia coastline, in the sounds south of Savannah, had identifiable markings, e.g. stenciling, tags, etc. to confirm a linkage to the boat used by Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen. The canine team was used to evaluate the recovered articles for any linkage to the boys. As previously stated, we did not then, nor do we now, consider the results to be conclusive. After an exhaustive search of the area where those articles were recovered, the lack of new information made it impractical to continue the search using contracted services."

Dr. Robert Bowie with DEEMI Search and Rescue told WPTV that the information was preliminary and further testing must be done to confirm whether the life jackets were connected to the boys.

The boys were last seen July 24 after heading out on a fishing trip in the Jupiter Inlet.

The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search a week after the boys were reported missing. The families ended their private search Aug. 8 at sunset.  

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