Missing Florida teens

Two years after Tequesta teens go missing, parents battling in court

Two years after Tequesta teens go missing, parents battling in court

The families of two Tequesta teenagers lost at sea in 2015 will mark Monday’s two-year anniversary of their disappearance by preparing to face each other in court. The mother of Perry Cohen filed a lawsuit Friday against four members of Austin Stephanos’ family, alleging that negligence led to the death of her son. Cohen and Stephanos, both 14, were last seen July 24, 2015, motoring a...
NEW: One missing Tequesta teen’s family will sue the other for damages

NEW: One missing Tequesta teen’s family will sue the other for damages

The family of Perry Cohen, one of the two Tequesta teenagers lost at sea in 2015, said Friday it will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the family of the other teen in state court. The announcement, set to be made on the entrance to the Palm Beach County Courthouse, will come just days before the two-year anniversary of the boys’ disappearance. “This lawsuit is about truth, accountability...
Federal judge rules missing teen’s parents can sue in state court

Federal judge rules missing teen’s parents can sue in state court

A federal judge ruled that the family of Perry Cohen can file a lawsuit against the family of Austin Stephanos in state court, according to court documents released this week. The families of the teens have been largely at odds since their sons departed on a boat trip out of the Jupiter Inlet in 2015 and never returned. On Monday, U. S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas lifted an injunction...
Family sues Palm Beach County over son’s 2015 drowning death

Family sues Palm Beach County over son’s 2015 drowning death

The family of a 15-year-old Broward County youth who drowned while swimming at DuBois Park in Jupiter two years ago has sued the Palm Beach County Commission for negligence. In a lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the family of Edwin Castañon claims the commission didn’t make sure lifeguards were properly trained to protect swimmers at the Palm Beach County park...
Messages, maps point to missing teens’ trip to Bahamas before storm

Messages, maps point to missing teens’ trip to Bahamas before storm

The day before Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen rode out from the Jupiter Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean in July 2015 for what would be the last time, the boys messaged at least one friend to ask if the friend wanted to come along fishing the following day. “Me and Austin r (siq) crossing to the Bahamas tomorrow come with us,” Cohen wrote in an Instagram message to a friend, according to...
Missing teens: FDLE revelations could trigger lawsuit

Missing teens: FDLE revelations could trigger lawsuit

The mother of one of two Tequesta teens lost at sea in 2015 is considering a lawsuit and fighting a court action she says would limit her ability to sue the other teen’s family, her attorney told The Palm Beach Post on Monday. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, were last seen sailing through the Jupiter Inlet on July 24, 2015. State reports made public last week found that a storm on...
Missing teens: FDLE finds evidence of child neglect, but no charges

Missing teens: FDLE finds evidence of child neglect, but no charges

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there is evidence of child neglect in the disappearance of Tequesta 14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen in July 2015, but the state did not file charges, according to a report released Friday evening. While FDLE investigators said they believe their investigation showed probable cause to charge at least one of the parents, the state attorney...
LATEST: State says weather key factor in loss of Tequesta teens at sea

LATEST: State says weather key factor in loss of Tequesta teens at sea

“A weather-related incident” capsized the 19-foot boat that was carrying Tequesta 14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen out to sea on the July 2015 day they vanished, according to a state report released late Thursday. A key finding in the report: The engine was operating when the craft took on water. One theory after the disappearance was that the boys had engine trouble. But...
NEW: Family says Coast Guard has lost boat missing Delray woman was on

NEW: Family says Coast Guard has lost boat missing Delray woman was on

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Monday it has lost track of a potential crime scene: the catamaran on which Isabella Hellman was last seen before she vanished. And a relative of the suburban Delray Beach real estate broker said Monday authorities have told the family the boat is gone, sunk in more than 4,000 feet of water. Lewis Bennett has told the Coast Guard he was awakened early on May 15 after...

POINT OF VIEW Boynton Beach needs a safe place for abused teens

There is a problem here in Boynton Beach. We have places for women to go for domestic abuse, but there is no safe place for teenagers. The teachers know firsthand of the problem, and it is monumental with no easy fix. I recently learned about the problem and how bad it is. There is a solution, but it will take a lot of planning. I believe the funding will be there, however. We can handle that with...
$400,000 being raised for Perry Cohen wetlands project at Jupiter High

$400,000 being raised for Perry Cohen wetlands project at Jupiter High

Fundraising, boosted by a $25,000 pledge from the Miami Dolphins Foundation, is continuing for the Perry J. Cohen Wetlands Laboratory at Jupiter High School. The plan calls for raising about $400,000 to transform an existing storm water retention pond at the front of the school into a wetlands habitat and outdoor classroom. The Perry J. Cohen Wetlands Laboratory will include native plants, educational...
From Donald Trump to Dalia Dippolito: Palm Beach County’s top stories

From Donald Trump to Dalia Dippolito: Palm Beach County’s top stories

The next president of the United States has a place right here. And that’s just part of a wild news year in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Here are the area’s top 10 stories, as determined, and chronicled, by Post editors and reporters, with help from statistics on how popular news stories were with readers. 1. President Trump: It’s one of the most shocking upsets in U...

Hundreds gather at jetty to commemorate Tequesta teens’ disappearance

Looking skyward into the pink clouds, hundreds gathered at sunset Sunday and cheered as sky lanterns were lit and floated upwards to mark the disappearance of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen. “There’s nothing you can do to make what happened better. We’re all here to show the families how much we care,” said Jupiter resident Paula Rappold, sitting on the south seawall of the...

Pamela Cohen’s letter to mark one year since her son’s disappearance

Sunday, July 24, marks the one-year anniversary of losing my beloved 14-year-old son, Perry, who went missing at sea. Today, I reflect back on my life with my beautiful son, the 17 days of anguish and uncertainty during the search and rescue, and my life without him since. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Perry is no longer here with me...

Missing teens: Why Jupiter will never forget Austin and Perry

Amid the cheering and tackles at the springtime girls Powder Puff football game at Jupiter High School’s field, Lori Walsh paused to remember Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos. “For so long Jupiter has been sad about what happened to the boys. It’s nice to have the town come together for such a happy event,” said Walsh, a lifelong north county resident who helped organize the...

Holiday boating: Year after Tequesta teens tragedy, is boating safer?

Almost a year after Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos disappeared, boaters are more safety conscious — but not safety conscious enough. That’s the consensus from boaters, marine dealers and experts who teach boating safety. “It’s just like with a hurricane,” said Ron Cuneo, a former boater who lives in Hypoluxo. “We get hit, and people are careful. For a while. But...

County unveils plaques to honor deputy, missing teens on reef

It was small solace to the families of three people who didn’t come back alive. And two boys who didn’t come back at all. But relatives and friends of the five were able Monday to see the three plaques that will be affixed to the wheelhouse of a ship that saw both charity and crime, and which will be sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, to be seen by fish, divers and those who loved...
Missing boaters: Coast Guard recovers one body in Gulf of Mexico

Missing boaters: Coast Guard recovers one body in Gulf of Mexico

Almost a year after Tequesta’s Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos vanished after their 19-foot boat passed through the Jupiter Inlet, the tragic coincidence of another Florida boat disappearance grabbed the national spotlight, bringing back painful memories for a community still healing. On Wednesday afternoon, a body was found in a debris field in the Gulf of Mexico from a missing sailboat that...

Artificial reef will honor lost Tequesta teens, PBSO officer

When the Ana Cecilia, a symbol of both hope and gritty crime, sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean next month to become an artificial reef, it also will honor three families whose loved ones were victims of the sea. Separate plaques affixed to the 170-foot, 629-ton freighter will honor 14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, lost at sea after their 19-foot boat left the Jupiter Inlet on...
Judge rules another agency to check Tequesta teen’s iPhone

Judge rules another agency to check Tequesta teen’s iPhone

Another agency can try to decipher Austin Stephanos’ iPhone, a Palm Beach County judge Thursday told representatives of the two families Thursday morning. Apple computer experts have disassembled the phone and were unable to get any information from the device. Apple still has the iPhone, which was found aboard the 19-foot boat the 14-year-old boys used to leave the Jupiter Inlet July 24. They...
Hearing today for lawsuit involving families of missing Tequesta teens

Hearing today for lawsuit involving families of missing Tequesta teens

A motion hearing related to a lawsuit involving the families of two Tequesta teens who went missing last summer after heading into the Atlantic is scheduled for Thursday morning at the Main Judicial Complex in West Palm Beach. The hearing is set for 8:15 a.m. Thursday in the courtroom of Circuit Judge Gregory M. Keyser, according to Palm Beach County court records. The family of Perry Cohen filed...

Cohen family attorney says FWC not asking for law enforcement help

The family of one of two missing Tequesta boaters is insisting that the state’s top law-enforcement agency take a lead role in investigating the disappearances and treat the case as a possible criminal matter. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos haven’t been seen since they were spotted leaving the Jupiter Inlet in a 19-foot boat July 24. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday...

FDLE will assist probe into Tequesta teens’ disappearance

The family of one of two missing Tequesta boaters is insisting that the state’s top law-enforcement agency take a lead role in investigating the disappearances and treat the case as a possible criminal matter. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos haven’t been seen since they were spotted leaving the Jupiter Inlet in a 19-foot boat July 24. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday...

Missing teens’ boat returns to South Florida

The 19-foot boat used by Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen to leave Jupiter Inlet nine months ago arrived back in South Florida Tuesday, while the fate of the 14-year-old boys remains unknown. “She was a good boat. She was in great condition when I sold her,” said Rex Richards, who bought the boat in 2012. Richards sold the boat to Richard Kuntz, Austin’s grandfather, about a month...

Missing teen’s dad: He ‘would not want me curled up in a ball crying’

It’s been nine months since Philip Cohen’s 14-year-old son Perry went missing after going on a fishing trip off the coast of Jupiter with his friend Austin Stephanos. At his darkest moments, Philip Cohen pictures Perry admonishing him for wallowing in grief. “My son would not want me curled up in a ball crying in a dark room,” Cohen, 44, said during an interview with The Palm...

 Blu Stephanos: Perry Cohen’s dad should have access to iPhone contents

Update, Friday 9:50 a.m.: Blu Stephanos, the father of missing Tequesta teenager Austin Stephanos, has filed a motion in court stating he has no objection to a request that the father of a second missing boy have access to the contents of an iPhone recovered in March from the boat used by the 14-year-old boys. Philip Cohen, the father of Perry Cohen, has filed suit in Palm Beach Circuit Court seeking...

Missing Florida teens: Video shows boys boating toward ocean

What might be the final look anyone will have of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, captured about four hours before the teens were lost at sea last July, is recorded on video footage that the state has made public. The footage, captured from a camera on the railroad bridge across the Loxahatchee River along Alternate A1A, shows the 14-year-old Tequesta boys heading toward the Jupiter Inlet at 9:45...

Did pilot see Tequesta teen in ocean two days after boys disappeared?

Bobby Smith saw a shirtless young man clinging to two pieces of white Styrofoam tied together with an orange life preserver as he swung his four-seater Piper Warrior plane low on Sunday, July 26, searching for Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos. Seated in the rear, Smith’s 10-year-old granddaughter Alison spotted the floating debris about 25 miles off the coast of the Florida-Georgia border. Alison...
Abductions, sightings, new details unveiled in missing teens report

Abductions, sightings, new details unveiled in missing teens report

Were the missing Tequesta teenagers, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, abducted? Did a Georgia pilot see a swimmer clinging to debris during the search? Did a woman in Jupiter see the teens aboard their broken down boat near the Jupiter Inlet? All these issues were raised in a comprehensive state agency report obtained by The Palm Beach Post. The report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation...
Missing Florida teens: Family lawsuit to go before judge today

Missing Florida teens: Family lawsuit to go before judge today

A lawsuit filed by the family of one of the Tequesta teens lost at sea is expected to go before a judge this afternoon, court records show. The family of Perry Cohen filed the action against Blu Stephanos and Carly Black — father and mother of Austin Stephanos — and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in an attempt to block the FWC from releasing an iPhone recovered at...

Could Snapchat posts shed light on missing teens’ final moments?

Shortly before he disappeared at sea off Jupiter in July, Austin Stephanos posted a Snapchat video that showed menacing clouds on the horizon — a final bit of footage seemingly lost to the ephemeral nature of the popular messaging service. Austin and friend Perry Cohen, both 14 at the time of their disappearance, haven’t been seen since, although their 18-foot fishing boat and Austin&rsquo...
Missing Florida teens: No answers to why switches were off on boat

Missing Florida teens: No answers to why switches were off on boat

Recently released photos of the Tequesta teens’ boat warrant deeper inspection into the tragedy, says the attorney for Perry Cohen’s family, but local boating experts warn that definitive answers might never surface. “Who knows what happened to that boat all those months it has been at sea?” said Will Beck, a captain at Sea Tow Services of the Palm Beaches. The photos show...

 EXCLUSIVE: Engine and battery off before teens boat capsized, says Cohen lawyer

Adding more mystery to the story of the Tequesta teens, the attorney for the family of Perry Cohen said Tuesday photos show the engine and battery were turned off before the 19-foot boat capsized. “Why would they turn the engine and battery off? Were they broken down? Maybe there was a third person aboard. Common sense tells us this new information means we need an impartial expert to examine...
Video: Missing teens' boat pulled from ocean

Video: Missing teens' boat pulled from ocean

Tequesta teens Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen's 19-foot boat is pulled from the ocean after being found March 18, 2016, by the Edda Fjord ship about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda.

Missing Florida teens: Family willing to drop suit over iPhone

The mother of one of two teens who disappeared at sea last summer has offered to drop a lawsuit against the family of the other if it agrees to an impartial examination of their son’s iPhone. The family of Perry Cohen filed the action Sunday night against Blu Stephanos and Carly Black — father and mother of missing teen Austin Stephanos — and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation...
Missing Florida teens: Currents, serendipity carried boat

Missing Florida teens: Currents, serendipity carried boat

Scholars who study the fluxes of Earth’s vast oceans weren’t surprised the tiny SeaCraft last seen motoring out the Jupiter Inlet with two teenage boys was recovered capsized 100 miles off the shores of Bermuda. But, oh, how many more places it could have gone, missing the serendipitous path that put it in the way of the Norwegian behemoth ship that plucked it from its watery limbo last...

Missing Florida teens: Coast Guard searched for boys, not iPhone

A Coast Guard helicopter crew that discovered the capsized boat used by Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos two days after they went missing was tasked with searching for survivors and not retrieving evidence or items from the vessel, a spokesman said Monday. The Coast Guard lost track of the boat for months before it was located by a Norwegian ship March 18 off the coast of Bermuda. An iPhone belonging...

Missing Florida teens: Family files suit over iPhone

The private grief of two Tequesta families who lost teenage sons at sea last summer moved to the public realm of the Palm Beach County Courthouse on Monday in the form of a lawsuit filed over a recovered iPhone. The family of Perry Cohen says it filed the action against Blu Stephanos and Carly Black, father and mother of other missing teen Austin Stephanos, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation...
Missing Florida teens: Some hope for clues and closure in boat

Missing Florida teens: Some hope for clues and closure in boat

Down a well-worn footpath in Jupiter, through a passage once blocked by a rusted chain, is a hideaway along the Intracoastal, a gathering spot for young people with boats where Salt Life is more than just a trendy sticker. On Sunday, in the shadow of what they call Cato’s bridge — the mainland’s link to Jupiter Island — there was knowledge of the shocking recovery of the boat...

Missing Florida teens: Parents to go to state’s attorney over iPhone

The mother of Perry Cohen, one of the two Tequesta teens who went missing at sea last year, is asking the state attorney to intervene in a growing feud over the other boy’s cellphone, she said on Sunday. The extreme step, announced in a news release, is needed because Austin Stephanos’ father, Blu, hasn’t given Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators consent...
Tequesta teens boat found, mystery remains

Tequesta teens boat found, mystery remains

Powering toward the North Atlantic, a Norwegian transport vessel last month came across a tiny capsized boat bobbing off the coast of Bermuda. What follows is a tale of miracles, two fathers fostering a bond and how the ocean slowly reveals its secrets. The boat was the 19-foot SeaCraft Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos took through the Jupiter Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean on July 24. The boys never...

EXCLUSIVE: Missing Florida teens’ boat found off Bermuda coast

3:45 p.m. update: The Coast Guard on Saturday explained why it was unable to secure the boat that carried Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos the first time it spotted it July 26. The SeaCraft once was in the Coast Guard’s possession, but it slipped away. The capsized boat was found 67 nautical miles off the coast of Daytona Beach area. The Coast Guard attached a data marker buoy to the craft,...
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