FDLE to assist in Austin & Perry investigation

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 03:59:48-04

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has confirmed that it will assist the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with a forensic examination of the boat Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen were last seen in.

“At the request of FWC, FDLE will provide forensic and investigative assistance. All evidence and information will be turned over to FWC as they continue to be the lead agency in the case,” an FDLE spokesperson said in a statement.

RELATED: More Austin & Perry coverage

The pair disappeared last summer.

Just yesterday State Representative Irv Slosberg asked the FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen to have his department investigate the boat.

"Children missing at sea should never be assumed 'Lost at Sea,' " Rep. Slosberg said Tuesday.

The boat is back in South Florida after it was spotted by a Norwegian ship last March off the coast of Bermuda.

Perry Cohen's family also sought assistance from the FDLE.


"It’s definitely a win. When you have more investigating agencies you bring more resources to the task at hand,” said Guy Rubin, Perry’s mom’s attorney. “We're very happy at that. But at the same time we think FDLE should be heading the investigation and FWC should be assisting them."

Rubin also says the boys' families are communicating about Austin's iPhone. He says the parties have agreed to take Austin's iPhone to another tech vendor to try and get the phone in working order. They have not decided on a vendor yet.