“The fact that since mid March and as of today April 24th, the Stephanos family has not provided consent to FWC to have the iPhone remain in the custody of law enforcement for data retrieval is not only incomprehensible to us as parents, it is also an insult to our community, the men and woman in uniform from local and government agencies and the tens of thousands of private citizens, volunteers and children nationwide that worked and prayed so tirelessly in the search and rescue efforts to find our son Perry and his dear friend Austin. In light of the new evidence of the missing boat and Iphone, and the lack of cooperation from the Stephanos family, and the fact that FWC informed us late Friday afternoon, April 21st of the decision that the Iphone would be turned over to Blu Stepahnos on Monday morning April 25th without any examination by authorities. We have no choice but to reach out to State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office who can simply issue a warrant which would allow FWC to turn over the phone to proper investigating authorities so the phone can be evaluated by experts”
“The Perry J. Cohen Foundation“
“With regards to my Son’s iPhone; we’ve been working very closely with FWC since they received the phone and have the utmost confidence in them. In addition, we’ve been working with the phone’s manufacturer who seems willing to help us try to get the phone operational again. That would be the first order of business, since Austin’s phone has been submerged in salt water for over eight months. We’ve also had an IT expert access the phone’s Cloud backup and, unfortunately, found that it had never been enabled.
“In light of the recent San Bernardino incident involving attempts by the FBI to retrieve data from a locked iPhone, we felt that it would be best to avoid the pressures of having these efforts played out in the media. We didn’t want to do anything publicly that might jeopardize the cooperation of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, I feel that the recent publicity and wild speculation may have done just that.
“Of course, any relevant information that might be retrieved from Austin’s phone will be shared with the Cohen family and the proper authorities.
“To me, this phone represents a connection with my son, so I thank you all for your continued support and understanding in this very sensitive, and very personal, matter.
An Apple spokesman told the Sun Sentinel that Stephanos had been in touch with the company about his son’s phone.
The complaint also asks the court to withhold from the Stephanos family the boat itself, which is scheduled to arrive by shipping container May 16, and other personal items found onboard.
“The public is financially and emotionally invested in this matter through the public awareness of this tragedy,” the suit says. “Thousands of members of the public were involved in raising money and volunteered countless hours in the search and rescue operation for Austin and Perry.
“Millions of dollars of public and private funds were used by FWC and The U.S. Coast Guard to try to find these boys. The public has the right to know what happened to the boys, and what led up to the point of their disappearance.”
More from Morning Mix