LOGAN — The family of 14-year-old Deserae Turner, the Cache County girl who was found in a dry canal last week with a gunshot wound to her head, said Friday that she has "a very long road ahead" in her recovery.
"While Deserae remains in critical condition, she is no longer in a medically induced coma," the family said in a statement. "Our daughter is a fighter with a strong will to live."
Deserae was found near Sky View High School shortly after midnight on Feb. 17, located by family friends who went looking for her after she didn't return from school the previous afternoon.
Two 16-year-old boys have since been charged with attempted murder, aggravated robber and obstruction of justice for allegedly luring Deserae on the pretenses of selling her a knife, then shooting her in the back of the head. The Cache County Attorney's Office will seek to charge the boys as adults.
Prosecutors haven't outlined specifics for an alleged motive in the case, though charging documents state the teenage boy's took a cellphone, backpack, iPod and $55 belonging to Deserae because of "greed."
The Deseret News has chosen not to name the boys at this time. Neither has a significant criminal history, court officials have said.
Deserae's family said in their statement that they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion in reaction to their daughter's struggle for her life.
"The kindness our family has been shown is beyond measure," they said. "We are in awe of the number of people who have reached out to us, thought of us, and included our family in their prayers. We are especially grateful for the medical staff who have gone above and beyond to care tirelessly for Deserae."
The family didn't release additional information about Deserae's condition except to say that "there is a very long road ahead for her and our family."
Deserae, from the town of Amalga, is a student at North Cache 8-9 Center in Richmond.
Donations for Deserae's medical expenses can be submitted online at www.gofundme.com/fight-for-deserae-turner or donated to the Deserae Turner Charity Fund at any America First Credit Union branch.
Deserae's family has asked not to be contacted directly while they focus all their attention on her well-being.