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.
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. 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 Conversation 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.
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. Apple declined to comment.
Cohen called for today's emergency hearing after filing a civil lawsuit, demanding to know why Florida Fish and Wildlife officers gave the phone to Austin's father instead of experts, according to ABC West Palm Beach affiliate WPBF-TV.
An injunction signed by Cohen Sunday said: "the Plaintiff believes the information on Austin’s iPhone must be collected by technology experts who have the expertise required to extract such data without unnecessary risks of losing such information inadvertently or due to inexperience in such highly technical matters."
Cohen's lawyer said at the hearing today that "a mother has the legal right ... to exhaust all legal possibilities," and that Cohen is entitled to information about what happened on the boat.
Stephanos' attorney stressed today that his client was "going to take every means necessary to have that phone forensically analyzed."