UPDATE: Body of Missing Utah Girl Located, Uncle Charged
UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Authorities said Wednesday afternoon that the body of 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley, who has been missing since early Saturday morning in Logan, Utah, has been located. Her uncle, Alex Whipple has been charged in the case.
According to a report by KSL, Whipple’s defense attorney said Whipple led police to the young girl’s body on Wednesday afternoon after Whipple shared its location with the attorney. The Logan Police Department said on its Facebook page that a news conference will be held this evening.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
LOGAN, Utah (KLIX) – The uncle of a missing 5-year-old Utah girl has been charged with aggravated murder and other crimes, authorities said on Wednesday.
Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said at a press conference that Elizabeth Shelley’s body has not yet been located, but it is presumed she is dead after several items were found near her home that link Alex Whipple, the girl’s uncle, to her disappearance and possibly her death.
The Cache County Attorney charged Whipple with aggravated murder, a capital offense; child kidnapping, a first-degree felony; abuse or desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony; and two counts of obstruction of justice, police said on Wednesday.
According to family, police said on Monday in a news release on its Facebook page, Whipple showed up at the girl’s home on Friday evening and all family members were still at the residence by 2 a.m. When they awoke later that morning, however, they could not locate the girl or her uncle.
Multiple agencies were called to assist in the search, and authorities “located several items of interest a short distance from the home,” according to the news release, explaining that items showed forensic evidence that “connects Mr. Whipple to the residence from which (the girl) went missing and to Elizabeth herself. Some items were then located another short distance away which also shows a forensic connection” to the child.
At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Cache County deputies located Whipple at the south end of Cache Valley, and the sheriff’s office charged him for several other recent criminal violations, including possession of drug paraphernalia. Whipple was then taken to Logan where he was interviewed by detectives.
Police on Wednesday said evidence included a household knife and a sweatshirt and watch belonging to Whipple with blood on them that DNA testing proved to be that of the young girl’s. Searchers are still trying to locate the body.