Finder of lost iPhone named

Wired identifies the Redwood City resident who left a bar with Apple's secret prototype

The missing person in the saga of Apple's (aapl) lost iPhone is a 21-year-old named Brian J. Hogan, according to a story posted Thursday on Wired.com.

Before moving to Silicon Valley, he lived in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he attended Santa Barbara City College. He has been working part time at a church-run community center giving swimming lessons to children, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Bornstein.

Brian X. Chen and Kim Zetter, the Wired reporters who broke the story, have apparently got their hands on a statement written by Bornstein. His account, which tends to put his client in the best possible light, nonetheless adds some new details to what was already known. Chen and Zetter write:

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According to the statement from his lawyer, Hogan was in the bar with friends when another patron handed him the phone after finding it on a nearby stool. The patron asked Hogan if the phone belonged to him, and then left the bar. Hogan asked others sitting nearby if the phone belonged to them, and when no one claimed it, he and his friends left the bar with the device....

A friend of Hogan’s then offered to call Apple Care on Hogan’s behalf, according to Hogan’s lawyer. That apparently was the extent of Hogan’s efforts to return the phone...

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” says Bornstein’s statement. “Even though he did obtain some compensation from Gizmodo, Brian thought that it was so that they could review the phone.”

Whether this version of the story -- which jibes with what Gizmodo has been saying -- is enough to make the charge of theft go away remains to be seen.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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