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SARATOGA SPRINGS — After more than a week of searching, authorities have recovered the bodies of two Utah County teens who went missing at Utah Lake, family members said on Thursday.
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon later confirmed the bodies found are believed to be those of Priscilla Bienkowski, 18, and Sophia Hernandez, 17.
The first body was found at 1:40 p.m. by a fisherman off of Lincoln Beach, Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith said in an evening press briefing. A few hours later, a pilot with the Utah County Sheriff's Office located the second body on the south side of Goshen Bay.
Smith said the bodies were found 8.5 miles away from where the girls were initially spotted going into the water.
Bienkowski and Hernandez, both of Saratoga Springs, were feared drowned after high winds picked up on the lake May 6. Their floating tubes were found nearly 2 miles south of where they entered the lake.
#Breaking: Family members confirm the bodies of #PriscillaBienkowski & #SophiaHernandez were recovered from @UtahLake earlier today. @UCSO to provide official update at 7:30. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families💕. @KSL5TVpic.twitter.com/NyjIUXU0sw— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) May 15, 2020
Smith said the weather has been the most difficult part of the search efforts. Utah Lake is known for having unpredictable weather, which can cause the water to go from flat to extreme conditions with a moment's notice.
Crews had been searching tirelessly for the teens. By May 11, however, that search had transitioned into a recovery operation.
Hundreds of people attended a vigil for the girls on May 9 at the Knolls area near Utah Lake.
Contributing: Garna Mejia, KSL TV and Jen Riess, KSL.com