LOGAN, Utah, March 7, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of Deserae Turner, the Cache County 14-year-old shot in the head and left for dead on Feb. 16, has released a statement about her ongoing health challenges.
“Through the blessings of our father in heaven, Deserae is still with us and has made progress,” said the written statement, handed out after a court appointment related to the two 16-year-old suspects in the case. The statement was handed out by a representative of the Cache County Victim’s Advocate Office.
“Deserae has moved to the Neuro Trauma Unit,” the prepared statement continued. “Her next steps include another surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Our sweet girl has been through so much as she battled for her life and this will be a battle she fights for a long time if not for the rest of her life.
“We are so grateful for all the support and prayers on Deserae’s behalf. We would like to thank our community and people all over the world for their prayers, love and support. We ask that you please continue to pray for her, our family and the other families associated with this tragedy.”
Deserae, a resident of Amalga, went missing after school in Smithfield. Police, family and friends searched for her, and found her just after midnight on Feb. 17, her crumpled form resting in a dry canal bed near Sky View High School.
She was taken by medical helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered she had been shot in the back of the head. Deserae was placed in a medically induced coma to assist in her healing. She later was brought out of the coma.
An investigation by law agencies including the Smithfield Police Department and the Cache County Sheriff’s Office determined that Deserae had been robbed of about $55 and an iPad, and shot. Prosecutors believe she was left for dead.
Two 16-year-old boys have been charged with aggravated attempted murder in the case. Their attorneys were in juvenile court Tuesday to ask that proceedings be closed to the press and public, and that the boys be given psychological examinations admissible in court.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck ruled that proceedings would remain open, but taking photos or making recording would not be allowed. She approved the psychological examinations of the suspects, which will be expedited because the defendants’ next court dates, hearings, are scheduled between March 21 and 24.