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‘We want them home’: Family, friends hold out hope missing Utah teens will be found

Posted at 9:25 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-10 18:18:40-04

UTAH LAKE — It’s been an unimaginably difficult few days as family and friends of two missing Saratoga Springs teens hold out hope for their safe return.

Priscilla Bienkowski and Sophia Hernandez from Saratoga Springs are believed to have been on pool floats in the Knolls area on the southwest side of Utah Lake on Wednesday when windy conditions moved in. No one has seen or heard from them since.

Friends and family members gathered Saturday night to honor of the teens.

“If my kids weren’t found yet, I would want everyone looking for them,” said Charity Petersen, who organized the event.

Family members held photos and each other as they spoke about their sweet daughters.

“We don’t want the worst-case scenario — we want them back home because they are our girls and we can’t be without them,” Sophia’s dad Jimmy Hernandez said.

“We love our girls and we just want them home,” Sophia’s mom Maria said.

Both families are focused on staying hopeful and finding the teens.

“I feel in my heart that there is hope, that these girls are out there somewhere, and I believe they could come back to us,” said Nancy Sepulveda, Priscilla’s mom.

While most evidence points to the girls being in the lake, Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said they are investigating all possibilities.

“Because we didn’t get a witness report of the girls going under water and not coming back up, we have to keep our minds open to the possibility that they might have gotten out somehow,” he said.

If you have any information, call Central Utah Dispatch at 801-794-3970.