Teen Who Found Belongings Of Missing Girls On Utah Lake Speaks Out

May 10, 2020, 10:19 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2022, 11:42 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — The search for two missing girls on Utah Lake entered day five as search and rescue teams transitioned to a recovery phase. A 16-year-old who found the girls’ cellphones and helped alert authorities talked to KSL about what he saw the night they went missing.

Mikey Hernandez said it was really windy the night he found the girls’ personal belongings on the shore of Utah Lake.

He was out camping and fishing with a friend when he discovered a blanket, clothes, shoes, and both of the girls’ cell phones.

“It’s crazy because it doesn’t even feel like five days,” Mikey said. “This whole situation doesn’t make sense, it’s confusing. How would you just vanish like that?”

The wind started to pick up around 7:30 p.m.

Most everyone else had gone home, except for 17-year-old Sophia Hernandez and 18-year-old Priscilla Bienkowski.

Mikey spotted their belongings just a little ways away from his tent.

“We thought that they left their stuff, and so that’s why we went over to look at it, and that’s when the phone started ringing and that’s when I picked it up,” he said.

Priscilla’s mom was on the other end of the line.

She asked for her daughter, but Mikey told her he hadn’t seen either of the girls anywhere.

“That’s when she was all nervous like, ‘what do you mean?'” Mikey said. “She was all scared and stuff.”

Within about 30 minutes, the boys said both families were on scene.

Search and rescue crews weren’t far behind.

“There were helicopters. There were search crews. There were jet skiers,” he said.

They searched through the night for Priscilla and Sophia, but with no luck.

Officials said Sunday that it’s now most likely a recovery mission.

“If they are in the water, then it is a recovery,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s no way that if they were in the water, they could have survived.”

Devastating news for both the girls’ families, all who knew them, and even those who didn’t.

“That whole situation is sad — that they’re not going home to their families, or their mom, or be able to hug their family at all,” said Mikey. “It’s just sad.”

Search crews were out on the lake for most of the day Sunday with sonar equipment and cadaver dogs.

They said they will now scale back the search from the water and focus their efforts over the next few days from the air.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
1 day ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
1 day ago
The ground breaking of the High Valley Transit offices....
Carter Williams, KSL.com and Jed Boal, KSL TV

Utah’s newest transit system breaks ground on $26M new home

High Valley Transit broke ground on a new 61,277-square-foot facility that will house the transit organization's administrative and operations offices.
1 day ago
The new Draper playground....
Shara Park

1.6 million-dollar Draper ‘all-abilities playground,’ damaged before opening

The new 'all-abilities playground' in Draper is delayed again because of some impatient visitors
1 day ago
A new U of U hopes to expand it's diversity....
Erin Cox

New Latina dean hopes to help the University of Utah in efforts to become Hispanic serving institution

One of Utah’s largest universities has plans to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, the first of its kind here in Utah.
1 day ago
The stranger holding a handgun in the driveway....
Shelby Lofton

‘He seemed prepared for battle:’ Neighbors terrified after encounter with armed stranger

Federal Heights residents are shaken up after a suspicious encounter with a stranger Friday afternoon.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Teen Who Found Belongings Of Missing Girls On Utah Lake Speaks Out