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I Cannot Give Up': Italian Father Pleads With Apple to Help Unlock His Dead Son's iPhone


"Don't deny me the memories of my son."

(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

One bereaved Italian father sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on March 21 begging him to help unlock his son's iPhone a few months after his son died from bone cancer at age 13.

Leonardo Fabbretti adopted his son, Dama, from Ethiopa in 2007, according to CNN Money. Fabbretti, who had given his son an iPhone 6 several months prior to his September 2015 death, said that Dama had allowed him access to the iPhone by registering his father's thumbprint for the phone's Touch ID software. But after restarting the iPhone following Dama's death, Fabbretti said that the Touch ID no longer works for him to log in, and the he doesn't know his son's password.

Fabbretti told Cook that he wanted Apple's help in unlocking the iPhone so that he can view his son's photos, notes and other messages with the intent of holding on to his son's memory.

"Don't deny me the memories of my son," Fabbretti wrote in his letter to Cook, according to CNN Money. "Having lost my Dama, I will fight to have the last two months of photos, thoughts and words which are held hostage in his phone."

Dama was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013 following a skiing accident, according to the Guardian. But after several months of chemotherapy sessions and operations, Dama passed away in September.

"I cannot give up," Fabbretti wrote, before noting that he generally supports Apple's privacy policies, according to the Guardian. "I think what’s happened should make you think about the privacy policy adopted by your company. Although I share your philosophy in general, I think Apple should offer solutions for exceptional cases like mine."

Fabbretti began lobbying Apple for its aid the month that Dama died, and after several conversations, Apple allegedly told him it was impossible to unlock the iPhone without the passcode, according to CNN Money.

Fabbretti's plea for Cook comes just after Apple refused to aid the FBI in breaking into an iPhone linked to the San Bernardino gunman. The FBI claimed it ultimately was able to break into the iPhone without Apple's aid.

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

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