The girl who was shot in the head and left in a dry canal by two 16-year-old boys in Smithfield is no longer in a medically induced coma.
In a statement released Friday, Deserae Turner's family said they are touched by the amount of love and support they received during this time:
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to family, friends, community members, and all of those we may not have met. The kindness our family has been shown is beyond measure. We are in awe of the number of people who have reached out to us, thought of us, and included our family in their prayers. We are especially grateful for the medical staff who have gone above and beyond to care tirelessly for Deserae. While Deserae remains in critical conditions she is no longer in a medically induced coma. Our daughter is a fighter with a strong will to live. We are grateful for everyday and know that there is a very long road ahead for her and our family.
A GoFundMe page has been created for the Deserae Turner Charity Fund.
Authorities say two teenage boys are under arrest after a 14-year-old girl who didn't make it home from school was found in a northern Utah ditch with a gunshot wound to the head.
Deserae Turner was reported missing Thursday evening and was found about seven hours later in a dry canal in the town of Smithfield. Smithfield Police Chief Travis Allen said she was injured and left semi-unconscious at the location she was found.
“Officers quickly realized that Deserae was the focus of an overdue juvenile report being investigating by the Cache County Sherriff’s Office," Allen said. "The individuals who located Deserae were friends of the family who were assisting in locating her. Information gathered from cell phone signals during the sheriff’s office investigation led those looking for her to the general area where she was found.”
Prosecutors say the 16-year-old boys lured Deserae Turner with plans to rob and kill her. Deserea was transported by ambulance to a Logan area hospital where the extent of her injuries – a gunshot to the head – was discovered. She was then transported to a Salt Lake City hospital by helicopter where she is currently in critical condition in a medically induced coma.
Cache County Attorney James Swink spoke on the two 16-year-old juveniles and the charges against them, which include one count of aggravated attempted murder, one count of aggravated robbery and four counts of obstructing justice.
“We plan on proceeding in juvenile court and anticipate there being an arraignment pretrial in the morning of the First District Juvenile Court," Swink said. "At that time, we plan to proceed under the Serious Youth Offender Act because of the seriousness of this offense. We’re filling information and seeking these charges to go to the First District Court.”
The teenagers appeared separately in court Wednesday with their parents. A judge ordered them to stay at a detention center until at least next Tuesday, when lawyers will meet to set a date for another hearing.
Since the investigation is still active, police declined to answer questions about what led to the shooting or whether the teens had known each other before.