A 14-year-old girl in Utah is fighting for her life and two teenage boys are in custody after she was shot in the head and left to die in a canal. Their reason for doing it? They were greedy and wanted the $55 she had on her.
Deserae Turner was found semiconscious in the early morning hours of Feb. 17 after investigators tracked her cell phone. She had been missing since Feb.16 when she failed to return home after school.
Turner was transported to a hospital in Salt Lake where doctors placed her in a medically induced coma.
"Further medical evaluation revealed that Deserae had suffered a gunshot wound to the head," Smithfield City Police Chief Travis Allen said, according to the Cache Valley Daily. "This information started a large scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding Deserae's condition."
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After interviewing Turner's friends and establishing a timeline, authorities arrested and charged two 16-year-old boys with aggravated attempted murder, aggravated robbery and four counts of obstructing justice.
"Investigators have served multiple search warrants and recovered key evidence," Allen said. "Items that have been seized include the handgun believed to be involved in the shooting, much of Deserae's personal belongings, including her cell phone and other collaborating evidence. All the facts obtained through the investigation have led to the arrest of two male suspects."
The two boys reportedly shot Turner after telling her they wanted to sell her a knife, according to The Associated Press. One of the suspects told investigators that he was motivated by greed. Turner had $55 on her at the time.
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Prosecuting attorney James Swink told the Cache Valley Daily he hopes to try the suspects as adults under Utah's Serious Youth Offender Act.
Jill Parker, who is acting as a spokesperson for Turner's family, read the following statement on behalf of the victim's parents:
"We know that our Father in Heaven is watching over her and all of us have been touched by her. We know that He hears and answers prayers, and we can see His hand at work as Deserae continues to make progress. We ask that you continue to respect our privacy at this time."