Father of missing Tequesta teen wants name dismissed from lawsuit

When a party is not transparent, particularly in a situation when ordinarily parents would do everything they could to cooperate with law enforcement, that raises a lot of questions and red flags.
— Attorney Guy Rubin

By Jorge Milian - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

JUPITER —  The father of one Tequesta teenager lost at sea in July 2015 is asking that his name be removed from a wrongful death lawsuit filed in July by the family of the other teen.

Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, disappeared July 24, 2015, after taking a 19-foot boat into a fierce offshore storm.  William “Blu” Stephanos, Austin’s father, is one of four people named in the court action. The others are Austin’s mother, Carly Black, his grandfather, Richard Kuntz, and his stepfather, Richard “Bubba” Black.

Stephanos wants to be “dismissed from this case as he did nothing wrong, he was not in charge of the boys and he had never seen the boat,” according to court documents filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

The Cohen lawsuit alleges that Stephanos is responsible, in part, for Cohen’s death because he failed to notify authorities after learning that the boys were missing and then “delayed” the search “in the most critical moments” by conducting his own search while withholding information from rescuers.