NewsLocal News


Investigators ask for help finding teens who went missing at Utah Lake

Sophia Hernandez, Priscilla Bienkowski missing since Wednesday
Posted at 9:53 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 23:53:23-04

UTAH LAKE, Utah — Investigators are asking for help Friday while searching for two missing teens.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office wants to hear from anyone who saw the friends near an area called ‘The Knolls’ on the west side of the lake.

Scouting the perfect scenery for senior photos, Keri Mallory and her 17-year-old daughter were at Utah Lake around 3:45 Wednesday afternoon

“I mean, it was a little breezy but it was a beautiful day. It was warm. It was fine,” Keri said.

Suddenly, a strong cold front brought heavy winds and high waves.

“All of a sudden our hair was whipping everywhere," Aleah Mallory said. "We couldn’t see. It was in our face then it got so cold."

At the same time, investigators believe Sophia Hernandez and Priscilla Bienkowski were just south on the water on inflatable pool floats.

“My heart just sunk,” said Keri. “I could see how it was so calm and just turned so bad so fast, they wouldn’t have had a chance.”

While the Mallorys don’t remember seeing the two girls, investigators hope others can help narrow the eight and a half mile search area.

“We don’t really know 100 percent what has truly come to pass here,” said Nancy Sepulveda, Pricilla’s mother.

On the second full day of searching, Sophia and Pricilla’s families wait ed anxiously on the shore for any sign of their missing daughters.

“Maybe I’m in a little bit of denial but that’s what is helping me to cope,” Sepulveda said.

Having experienced the storm, Keri’s heart breaks for the missing teens.

“It’s been really hard to think about what they must have gone through,”Keri said.

A vigil for the teens is planned for Saturday night at 8:00 at The Knolls.