Families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen end their privately - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen end their privately-led search for missing teens

PICTURE BY COHEN FAMILY/BILL BARBOSA PHOTOGRAPHY PICTURE BY COHEN FAMILY/BILL BARBOSA PHOTOGRAPHY

JUPITER, Fla. -- The families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have announced their decision to end their privately-led search for the missing boys.

The families said in a press release that they ended their search at sunset on Saturday, August 8.

A spokesperson for the family said the search has run its course. “Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical,” said the family spokesperson.

“We love our boys and want them home.  Today, our hope becomes our prayer— that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us.  We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support,” said the families in a joint statement.

The joint statement continued, “We will never stop looking for our boys, Austin and Perry.  We want to thank the US Coast Guard and the many volunteers from Florida to Maine whose contributions were nothing short of extraordinary.  We express a special debt of gratitude to the Palm Beach community for its generosity and outpouring of love and support.  We ask that you join us in our prayer that one day Perry and Austin will be reunited with their families.”

The boys were last seen heading out of Jupiter Inlet on Friday, July 24.

The U.S. Coast Guard searched for one week, officially suspending their search at sunset on Friday, July 31.

A memorial continued to light the pier at the Jupiter Inlet Sunday. 

Friends like Jessica Doney stopped by to pray. "These are our children," she said. "Everyone in Jupiter loved these boys." Doney says she was part of the massive search for the teens and in a private plane took aerial images 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

Even strangers like Karen Johnson, "It's just really sad," she said. "I just wanted to pay my respects."

The families are establishing a charitable foundation in honor of the boys.

According to a press release, the foundation will promote youth boating education with a focus on preventing future incidents involving teen boaters.

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