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Two bodies found in Utah Lake; believed to be of two missing Saratoga Springs girls

Priscilla Bienkowski and Sophia Hernandez
Posted at 7:10 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 00:26:04-04

UTAH LAKE, Utah — Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue recovered two bodies Thursday that they believed to be of two missing girls that disappeared after going tubing on Utah Lake.

In a media briefing Thursday, UCSO announced they believe they have found the bodies of Priscilla Bienkowski 18, and Sophia Hernandez, 17.

One of the bodies was found by a fisherman on Lincoln Beach around 1:40 p.m. Thursday. The second body was found by a search and rescue helicopter near Goshen Bay around 4:40 p.m. The bodies were discovered miles away from where they initially entered the water.

"We were working the right areas where our experience said they should have been and here we end up six miles east." Sgt. Justin Gordon with Utah County Sheriff's Office said.

Bienkowski and Hernandez, both from Saratoga Springs, have been missing since Wednesday, May 6 when they were believed to have gone tubing on Utah Lake.

The two girls were reported to have been in the Knolls area on the southwest side of the lake when they disappeared.

According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon with Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the night the girls went missing, strong winds picked up in the area capable of causing eight-foot waves. The temperature of the water was 57 degrees.

The girls were seen earlier that day purchase floating tubes at Walmart before heading to the lake. The tubes were designed for pools and Sgt. Cannon says the tubes were not stable enough to withstand the conditions that night.

“The thing that everyone is thinking is what nobody wants to say. But when you’ve been involved in a lot of circumstances, it’s hard to not think of those possibilities,” said Sgt. Cannon.

Crews found the tubes, keys and a cell phone the same night they went missing. Their car was also discovered nearby.

An extensive search was conducted throughout the next eight days with the help of multiple agencies.

GoFundMes were set up for both of the girls and can be reached here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/prescilla-bienkowski-family

https://www.gofundme.com/f/sophia-hernandez-family