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The recovered boat belonging to the two teens who remain missing off the coast of Florida is expected to return to shore Monday — but the vessel could face law enforcement scrutiny if one of the boys' mothers gets her way.
Mother Pamela Cohen requested on Thursday that either the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or both conduct "a proper forensic examination" of the boat, even though the investigation into the boys' disappearance has been closed, her attorney said in a letter to the agencies.
The 19-foot single-engine Seacraft that friends Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos sailed off the coast of Jupiter on July 24 was found by a Norwegian supply boat on March 18. The vessel, which was discovered capsized, is being brought back in a shipping container to Port Everglades in Florida.
"The FWC has indicated publicly it would 'take a look' at the boat when it arrives at Port Everglades, however my client would like FWC to do more than just 'take a look,'" Pamela Cohen's attorney wrote to the state agencies. "The vessel has yet to be examined by law enforcement and may be the best lead to determine if there may have been some criminal conduct that lead (sic) to the disappearance of the boys."
One of the teen's family members has suggested that they may have been abducted because the boat was apparently "disabled intentionally," and at least two friends of Austin's received a Snapchat message from him on or about July 24 reading "we're f'd."
A 128-page investigative file dated Feb. 8 revealed that the FBI was involved in the investigation, but the probe was never officially considered criminal. The teens are officially classified as missing.
Austin's father, Blu Stephanos, told NBC affiliate WPTV on Thursday that he is seeking some form of closure but doesn't know that he will ever get it.
"I always will have the hope that they will come walking in that door," Stephanos said.
"You love someone so much," he added, "you'll never give up."