Mom of teen who went missing at sea sues other family

(INSIDE EDITION)--The mother of a Florida teen who went missing at sea in 2015 along with with his friend filed a wrongful death suit against the other teen's family on Friday.

The filing, which took place at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, came just days before the two year anniversary of the boys’ disappearance.

Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, went missing off the coast off Florida during a fishing trip on Austin's boat on the morning July 24. Two days later, the 19-foot fishing boat was spotted capsized during a widespread search for the teens.

The boys have since been presumed dead.

“This lawsuit is about truth, accountability and justice,” attorney Guy Rubin said in a statement on behalf of Pamela Cohen, Perry’s mother. “Perry’s family can not just move on, put this behind them or let it go.”

Cohen alleges in the lawsuit that Austin’s family was negligent and that it resulted in the boys’ deaths. 

In June, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that Carly Black, Austin’s mother, showed an “egregious lack of judgement and failure to execute due care” when she allowed the teens to go alone on a fishing trip in a “minimally equipped” 1978 boat.

The boat had a single motor and no GPS or radio. 

An investigative report released last month added that Black knew that Perry’s parents forbade him to go offshore without an adult, and waited more than two hours to notify his parents that the boys were missing while Blu Stephanos, Austin’s dad, went searching for the teens on his own boat, according to reports.

The state chose not to file charges, however, due to insufficient proof.

"Once it was clear the boys were not going to be found, there began some tension between the families," said Rubin.

This isn't the first battle between the families. In 2016, Cohen also filed a lawsuit over an IPhone 6 that was found on the boat, which was heavily damaged by saltwater. 

The phone belonged to Austin, but Cohen wanted the phone turned over to investigators to determine possible foul play.

Because the case was not criminal, however, the phone was considered private property.

 

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