The mother of a Florida teen who went missing a year ago penned a heartfelt letter about her loss.
Pamela Cohen, the mother of Perry Cohen, 14, who went missing off the Florida coast along with his friend, Austin Stephanos, wrote the letter on July 24, posting it on her Facebook page.
“Perry is no longer here with me and not a single moment passes that I am not reminded of my loss. I have tried to understand why he was taken from me, his family and his friends. I struggle with the thought that a year has passed since he left us, and I survive one second at a time. As slow and painful as each breath has been, living means accepting the reality of my circumstance; I am a mother who has lost her precious son and nothing will ever fill the hole in my heart left by his absence,” she wrote.
Perry and Austin, 14, vanished out at sea while fishing, but their bodies were never found. Their capsized boat was found 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda in March, and Stephanos’s iPhone was found intact. The discovery of the boat and phone renewed hopes that questions about the boys’ disappearance might be answered.
The boys were last seen at 1:30 p.m. on July 24 stocking up on $110 worth of fuel. Their parents got worried when they didn’t return home that night. A massive search was then launched, which including the Coast Guard and volunteers.
“When the Coast Guard suspended the search and rescue mission for Perry and Austin, I was devastated. There was no way that my emotions would allow me to grasp the magnitude of their 8-day, around the clock search that covered tens of thousands of nautical miles,” Cohen wrote in her Facebook post. “Today, I attempt to grasp the Coast Guard and the public’s herculean efforts to find my son and his dear friend. I am forever grateful for every Coast Guardsman, Sailor, Airman, and civilian volunteer who took part in the mission to find our boys.”
A private search for the boys was suspended in last August.
Cohen said her family has helped her cope over the past year.