Despite high winds, crews continue search for missing teens at Utah Lake

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UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – UPDATE: The bodies of Priscilla Bienkowski and Sophia Hernandez were found Thursday, May 14.


Despite hindering high winds, crews continue to search for two teen girls who went missing while tubing on Utah Lake last week.

On Tuesday, Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon said they continued search flights but have been unable to use K9s in their search.

Wednesday, Cannon said they do have some boats out but the winds are making conditions difficult. They are still unable to use the K9s as they had hoped, and will have to wait until the winds die down in order for the K9s to be able to rejoin the search efforts.

RELATED: Is Utah Lake dangerous for recreation?

Crews switched over to air and ground searching on Monday, stating they felt that if the girls were in the water, they would start to surface to the top, within a few days.

“When a person is lost on the water as we believe in this case, then after several days they’ll start to come closer to the surface,” said Sgt. Cannon. “We’ll use the aircraft that’s easier to spot from the air than the water. The thing that we’re fortunate of with Utah Lake is the nature of the lake. If they’re in the lake it will eventually bring results.”

Related: Efforts to find missing teens at Utah Lake switching from water to primarily air searches

Related: Search for two missing teens at Utah Lake continues

According to Sgt. Cannon, family members called Saratoga Springs Police around 8 p.m. Wednesday when 17-year-old Sophia Hernandez and 18-year-old Priscilla Bienkowski didn’t return home.

They said the teens were tubing near the Knoll’s area of Utah Lake along SR-68 near mile marker 20. One of the parents told investigators a nearby fisherman picked up their phone that was left behind when they called.

ABC4 will continue to bring you updates as we receive them.

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