The American press has been following a very sad story since July 2015: two 14-year-olds disappeared when they went fishing in the sea of Palm Beach, Florida. For us, this story arrives through the iPhone 6 from one of the boys, whose data can mean a tip of hope and comfort for families.
As usual, teenagers Perry Cohen (left) and Austin Stephanos (right) they went fishing on July 24, 2015. Unfortunately, unlike other times, they have not returned. Even with intense searches by the local Coast Guard and the family since then, only in March of this year was the 5 meter boat found wrecked by a Norwegian vessel 160km from Bermuda (approximately 1,600km from where the boys were last seen) . In one of the boat's compartments was Austin's iPhone 6.
As soon as the device was rescued, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent it to Austin's father, who kept it as a memento of his son. However, Perry's mother (Pamela Cohen) wanted the phone to be delivered as evidence in the case of the disappearance because, according to her, her son had called his family on the last day he was seen. To that end, Pamela filed for action to send the cell phone to the state, but no investigation was carried out. After the consent of the two families, the phone was sent to Apple, which consented to try to remove some information from the device according to family lawyer Stephanos.
How the phone got eight months submerged in salt water, it is quite damaged and it is still uncertain whether there is any possibility of recovering any data. An IT expert has tried to check for any backup on iCloud, but found that this feature was never enabled. It is also not known whether it is password protected, so it cannot be said what the measure taken by the Apple will be. Even so, the comparisons with other cases of iPhone unlocking like that of San Bernardino do not cease to appear.
Even though the chances of finding something on the iPhone are small, families are still hopeful of finding photos, videos, texts or a call history that may serve as evidence to help the case.