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Last Messages From Teen Who Went Missing At Sea

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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) - A lawsuit over a cell phone which belonged to a Tequesta teen who went missing on a fishing trip with a friend has been dropped.

The family of Perry Cohen issued a statement Tuesday saying it is satisfied that the family of Austin Stephanos will share whatever information is found on the cellphone with them and law enforcement.

boys lost at sea boat
Crew from a Norwegian cargo ship found the 19-foot boat near Bermuda in March 2016. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos disappeared in July 2015. (Credit: Edda Accommodations Ltd)

In March, a Norwegian cargo ship spotted the teen's 19-foot boat near Bermuda and recovered it. Onboard were Austin's phone and some fishing gear. The iPhone has major salt water damage.

The families hope it holds clues as to what happened.

In July of 2015, Stephanos and Cohen — both 14 — left Jupiter Inlet in the boat and never returned.  That morning Perry sent his mom a text. He wrote "Mom, it's Perry. My iPad is dead, I'll text you in a little. Love you."

boys lost at sea phone
Perry Cohen's cellphone. (Credit: Edda Accommodations Ltd)

Cohen's mother Pamela wrote back, "OK. I wanted you to sleep home tonight, I miss you. We leave Sunday morning for New York. What about your work?" He assured he had been doing his homework and wrote "But I was going to sleep at,,,."

He never finished the message.

Lengthy searches by the Coast Guard and private pilots failed to find the teens or their bodies.

On Wednesday morning, Pamela Cohen posted on her Instagram account that she had signed a consent form and turned over all of her son's electronic devices to authorities without question "so that it may lead them to some direction of where the boys may have been headed or what their plans were during the USCG search and rescue."

She went on to say:

"I am not interested in exploiting the private and personal photos which may be recovered - this has never been our intention. I ask you, if you kissed your child goodbye, and never saw them again, without any information - I would believe that if evidence that could contain some answers to what happened to your beloved child were found, you would want a neutral party to properly and thoroughly investigate that evidence."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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