Family says Utah teen shot in head, left in canal awakened from medically induced coma

Posted at 3:44 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 17:47:48-05

CACHE COUNTY, Utah — A 14-year-old girl who was allegedly shot in the head by a pair of teen boys remains in critical condition, but Friday her family said Deserae Turner is no longer in a medically induced coma.

The Turner family released this statement Friday, thanking the community for their support and offering an update on Deserae’s condition.

“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.”

The young girl from Amalga was found in a dry canal in Smitfhield with a gunshot wound to the head several hours after she was reported missing earlier this month.

Police announced earlier this week that two juveniles are in custody for attempted murder. According to charging documents, one of the suspects told police post-Miranda the pair had planned to rob and murder the girl and lured her into the dry canal on the pretense of selling her a knife.

Friday’s press release also included a note about fundraising efforts on behalf of the family, which is reproduced below:

In an effort to allow the family to focus on the needs of their daughter at this time and to assure that funds raising efforts reach the family in a streamlined manner, please contact the Cache County Attorney’s/Victims Advocate Office by email at or by phone at 755-1835 to provide information on any fundraising events. Please do not contact the family directly at this time.

A Go Fund Me page has been established and an account at America First Credit Union. Donations can be made at any America First Credit Union Branch for the Deserae Turner Charity fund.