Teens Allegedly Left Girl for Dead, Kept 'Memento'

Two 16-year-olds have been arrested after girl found in Utah ditch
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Teens Allegedly Left Girl for Dead, Kept 'Memento'
Deserae Turner   (handout)

Two teenage boys charged with shooting a 14-year-old girl in the back of the head and leaving her wounded in a ditch lured her to the spot in a small Utah town with a plan to rob and kill her, prosecutors said. The 16-year-old boys set up a meeting by promising to sell Deserae Turner a knife, reports KSL. They originally planned to stab her with knives of their own, according to newly filed charging documents. After they arrived, one boy decided instead to use a gun he had brought and shot Deserae, prosecutors said Tuesday. They took $55 from her purse, tossed her backpack in a trash bin, and destroyed her cellphone and iPod, prosecutors wrote. Deserae is in critical condition in a medically induced coma, reports the AP. One teen told police that greed made them do it, investigators said.

Deserae was reported missing Thursday evening when she didn't return home from school and was found around 12:45am Friday in the dry canal in Smithfield. "She is in the fight of her life right now," says a rep for her family. The teen who brought the gun gave the spent shell casing to the other boy when he asked to keep it "as a memento," the charges state. Officers later found it displayed on his bedroom windowsill. Investigators say text messages between the boys indicate they planned the robbery and shooting together, the Salt Lake Tribune reports, and footprints in the canal allegedly match the shoes the boys were wearing. KSL reports, per charging documents, that one teen "provided a written apology to [Deserae's] family in which he stated, 'I'm so so so sorry.'" The boys face attempted aggravated murder charges, among others. (More attempted murder stories.)

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