Family of missing teen announces end to private searches

      (Jenny Sanborn/WCIV)

      FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- The family of missing teen, Tristen Allen, released a statement Wednesday saying they are turning over all search activity to public agencies.

      According to the statement, both public and private searches gathered evidence to "draw the conclusion Tristen is not likely to be found alive" but government agencies will keep looking.

      U.S. Coast Guard officials called off their search on July 15. Officials said crews covered more than 2,700 nautical miles and continuing to search would not increase their probability of finding the teen.

      According to officials, Tristen and his father were about 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach July 12, diving from their 22-foot Carolina skiff. Crews say the two men went into the water around 2 p.m. for a 30-minute, 60-feet-deep dive.

      The father surfaced but his son did not, officials said.

      "The search teams involved substantial resources, including both private and public air, boat, and dive teams," the statement reads. "The Allen family wishes to sincerely thank all of the government officials who have handled their duties with the utmost professionalism and capability. The family also offers special thanks to all of the private individuals who worked tirelessly, risked their own safety, took time away from their families, and gave all they could to locate their son and brother."

      The family also announced that surplus funds from the Tristen Allen Search Fund, if they exist, will be donated to charities Tristen supported. The Go Fund Me account and the Harbor National Bank Account will remain open to receive donations for those causes and a formal 501c3 will be established to continue to do honorable work Tristen's name.

      They are also renaming the fund to "All that is #41"

      They also announced a tribute event will be held at James Island Charter High School on Sunday, August 3. It will run from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

      "The family extends heartfelt thanks to all who expressed care, concern and love during the last 11 days. It is through that support that they were they able to continue on and ask everyone who knew Tristen and his boundless spirit, which lives on in all of his extended family, to help keep #41's spirit alive."