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 court documents.
Another friend of Austin Stephanos told investigators that same day the 14-year-old boys had been talking about heading out to the Bahamas, but decided it was “too rough” that day.
The interviews, accounts and messages are part of a December court filing in the civil court proceeding over Austin Stephanos’s recovered cellphone, which was found when the 18-foot boat was recovered near Bermuda nearly eight months after the Tequesta teens disappeared. The documents were intended to compel a judge to let Cohen’s family have access to any information on Austin Stephanos’s cellphone, though Apple was not able to recover anything from the iPhone. The case remains open.
The new details come after recent developments in the case and nearly two years after the pair steered into a storm on the Atlantic. Though the boat and their life vests were eventually found, the boys were never seen again.
On Monday, Cohen’s family said it was considering a civil lawsuit days after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigative report was released stating the agency found Stephanos’s mother, Carly Black, had been negligent and recommended charges. The State Attorney did not go forward with charges.
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report released Thursday said a “weather-related incident” was to blame in the boys’ disappearance. Originally it was speculated that something may have happened to the boat’s engine, but investigators discovered the engine was still working when the boat took on water.
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