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Boat of missing teens brought to Port Everglades

Cargo ship carrying boat found near Bermuda arrives in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The boat that belonged to two teenagers who disappeared during a fishing trip last year is back in South Florida.

The 19-foot single-engine SeaCraft arrived on a shipping container onboard the Yorktown Express, a cargo ship that docked at Port Everglades. It was off-loaded Monday night.

The SeaCraft found in March by a Norwegian freighter off the coast of Bermuda arrived Sunday at Port Everglades.

After being lowered onto a truck, the boat was taken to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Investigators with the FWC hope the boat will allow them to better understand what happened to the two Florida teens. 

Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, disappeared last July during a fishing trip off the coast of Jupiter.

Perry's mother, Pamela Cohen, formally asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Monday to conduct a forensic evaluation of the boat.

"Simply put, my client would like a proper forensic examination by qualified investigators and have the boat handled as if it were a possible crime scene," Cohen's attorneys said in a letter to the FWC. "This is not to say we believe a crime was committed, but rather nothing should be ruled out until the vessel is fully examined and all possibilities are either ruled in or ruled out."

File: Pamela Cohen requests forensic evaluation on vessel by FWC

An iPhone that belonged to Austin was found on the boat and has been the center of contention between the families.

Cohen filed a lawsuit to have the phone examined. She and Perry communicated via text message before the boys disappeared.

A Palm Beach County judge ordered that the phone be sent to Apple. However, Apple was unable to restore it.

Austin's father, Blu Stephanos, spoke to Local 10 News last week about his son.

File: Transcript of hearing proceedings

"These two boys touched the lives of so many, you know, and so many people in return touched the lives of these families," Stephanos said.

According to the letter sent to the FWC, Austin's mother, Carly Black, is the owner of the boat and is in favor of the forensic examination asked by Perry's mother.

FWC officials said they would examine every inch of the boat for possible evidence and the vessel would then be turned over to Black.


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