Apple agrees to analyze iPhone of Florida teen missing at sea

“Apple will analyze the recovered iPhone that may hold the key to what happened last summer when two Florida teens disappeared on a boating trip, according to an agreement reached by the teens’ parents in court today,” Emily Shapiro reports for ABC News.

“The recovered iPhone belonged to 14-year-old Austin Stephanos, who went missing while on a boat trip with Perry Cohen, also 14, in July,” Shapiro reports. “The Coast Guard led an eight-day search in the Atlantic, covering 50,000 nautical miles. The boys’ bodies were never found. But Austin’s iPhone was on board when the boys’ boat was recovered last month about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda.”

“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gave the recovered iPhone to Austin’s father, Blu Stephanos, but Perry’s mother, Pam Cohen, took the issue to court, fighting to hand the phone over to experts,” Shapiro reports. “At today’s emergency hearing, an attorney for the Stephanos family said, “Apple has already agreed to take in the phone” and analyze it for answers. The phone will be sent to Apple to be analyzed and all evidence will be sealed and sent back to court, according to the agreement reached this afternoon.”

More info and photos in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In this case, one of the parents is the owner of the iPhone, likely have the password required, and have given permission for Apple to unlock it.

Likely, Apple will be analyzing the iPhone for GPS coordinates, among other pertinent data.


  1. Sorry, but I don’t see how the other parents have any say in the matter. If the authorities didn’t want to analyze the phone and gave it to the parents of the kid who it belonged to, then that should be that.

      1. That’s the problem with emotional assholes like you; you base everything on your weepy feelings at any given time and don’t think logically. I’ll bet you’re behind Comey and want Apple to unlock those phones so the terrorists can’t cut all our throats in our sleep. And, to protect the children, of course. Grow a pair Nancy.

  2. It does not sound that the parents of the kid who owned the phone was against looking into the unit. More that the authorities gave the phone to the family without determining whether it could contain useful information.
    Regardless a tragic event and I feel for the parents.

    1. The people trying to compare/contrast this with the FBI situation need to know whether or not the parents have the passcode for the phone. If they DO, then any comparison is completely false. If they do NOT, then we should talk.

      It seems very likely that the parents DO have the passcode. The problem is that the phone was physically damaged by being in salt water for a long time. THAT is why Apple is being asked to help. Not to break security, but to repair severe physical damage.

  3. This would make a great episode of a new show called Forensic Files: Cyber Edition. It would be interesting to know the story to the end and find out what happens next…

  4. Apple will hack some iPhones but not others, hmmm. I wonder how Apple decides which iPhones to hack and those not to hack. I suppose Apple should publish on their website their rules for hacking Apple devices without the owners permission.

  5. Interesting… I thought it was impossible for Apple to decrypt the data of an iPhone… :/

    MDN’s take about what will be extracted (or not) is just guessing.

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