Apple tried and failed to repair an iPhone that was owned by a missing teenager, meaning that his parents can’t see his text messages or last-known location, Apple Insider reports.
Austin Stephanos and his friend Perry Cohen went missing after a boating trip in July. Their boat was recovered along with Stephanos’ iPhone, but the pair have not been found.
In April Pamela Cohen, Perry’s mother, took legal action to make sure that Stephanos’ iPhone could be handed to forensic experts to see if it could be restored to working order.
Apple agreed to try to fix the device, but Stephanos’ parents say that the company did not manage to get the iPhone working. The company took the phone to pieces, cleaned components, and also used a chemical workup to remove dirt. But the iPhone still wouldn’t turn on.
This isn’t the last chance to get the device working, though. The families are looking into sending the device to other forensic experts to see if they are able to fix it. Apple has offered to securely send the iPhone to an expert chosen by the families.
Here, via WPBF, is the full statement released by Pamela Cohen:
We learned yesterday that Apple went as far as they could to try to get Austin’s iPhone working, which, as Apple advised, was the first step in the process of retrieving information that might help us understand what happened to the boys. Apple also made it clear that getting the iPhone to power up was its only commitment to Blu Stephanos, which differs from what we heard from his attorney in court. For the generous efforts by Apple’s engineers, who we understand worked tirelessly to try to help us, we are so very grateful.
As I’ve said before, I owe it to Perry to exhaust every possible avenue in pursuit of finding out what happened to him. According to Apple, there are other experts in the field who may be able to pick up where Apple left off, to continue the work. Apple has offered to securely hand the iPhone off to an expert in this technology if the families can agree on such an expert. We look forward to working cooperatively with Austin’s family toward this transition. We are not giving up on the iPhone’s potential for evidence until all viable efforts have been exhausted.
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