Society

'We're F'ed': Final Snapchat Post Of Missing Teens

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Boat of Perry Cohen and Austin StephanosBoat of Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos

An ominous Snapchat message reportedly sent by one of the two teens who went missing nine months ago while fishing off the coast of Florida has been revealed.

On July 24, 2015, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, went fishing off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, People reports.

They were never seen again.

In March, their capsized boat was discovered by a Norwegian vessel off the coast of Bermuda. The boys’ bodies were not onboard, but personal effects were uncovered, including an iPhone.

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During the week of April 25, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released documents related to the case that include social media posts made by the teens, cell phone tower records, interview notes, investigative reports and FBI emails.

The social media posts appear to hint at the tragedy that struck the teens on the day they disappeared.

A Snapchat post by Stephanos reportedly read, "We’re f'ed," People reports, but it is unclear exactly when the post was sent.

Snapchat, which exists on the basis that posts are deleted from user accounts within a certain timeframe, responded to a subpoena for information from the FWC in December 2015 by stating the subpoena was "not sufficient legal process to compel production of non-content records, such as Snap logs." The company allegedly said they would only respond to a court order issued under the Stored Communications Act or a federal or state search warrant.

Around 1:30 p.m. the day the teens disappeared, a storm hit the area they were fishing in with 20-40 miles per hour winds that lasted for around 20 minutes.

That storm may have caused a boating accident since records show Stephanos' phone disconnected from the Internet at around 1:16 p.m. that day and never reestablished a data connection.

​Based on photos released by the FWC, foul play could also be a factor in the boys' disappearance.

"What we knew before the boat was recovered was very little. From the photos we have now, we now know the boat was disabled before the storm hit," lawyer Guy Rubin, who represents Pamela Cohen, the mother of Perry Cohen, told WPBF. "From the photos we have now, we now know the boat was disabled before the storm hit. So we don't know whether foul play was involved or not."

On April 25, Pamela filed a lawsuit to have the FWC and the Stephanos family allow experts to examine the recovered iPhone in an attempt to see if it holds valuable information.

The lawsuit states that homicide or maritime crime could have occurred.

"We do know for sure that boat was disabled intentionally because the battery switch, which is very difficult to get to, was in the off position. That can't be maneuvered by the passage of time, the current, and other events," Rubin said. "The key in the ignition was in the off position."

"If the storm came and capsized the boat, the battery switch and the key would not be in those positions," Rubin added. "We want forensic experts in accident reconstruction to look at the boat and tell us what happened. I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but I'm also trying to take it from a scientific approach.”

Pamela has agreed to drop the lawsuit if the Stephanos family agrees to sign a consent form for forensic experts to try and retrieve information from the phone and to have a “legal chain of evidence.”

"Maybe the most logical explanation is the storm, but maybe they were abducted," Rubin said. "Or maybe there was foul play because they had thousands of dollars' worth of reels.

"But if they were disabled right off the Jupiter Inlet, why wouldn't some other boater have stopped and helped? And we don't even know if a third person was on that boat."

The teens’ boat is expected to arrive at Florida’s Port Everglades on May 16 where it will undergo an investigation.

Sources: People, WPBF / Photo Source: EDDA Accomodations Ltd via People

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