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Logan Police say uncle suspected in disappearance of 5-year-old girl not cooperating with investigation

Posted at 10:39 AM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 12:40:31-04

LOGAN, Utah -- Logan Police have tested evidence that links missing 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley to her uncle, and they said that man is in custody but not cooperating with the investigation.

Elizabeth Shelley

The search continued Monday for Elizabeth "Lizzy" Shelley, and Logan Police provided new details about the timeline and evidence in the case.

Capt. Tyson Budge of the Logan Police Department said 21-year-old Alex Whipple came to the girl's home unexpectedly Friday night, and when her family awoke Saturday around 9 a.m. the man and 5-year-old girl were gone.

The family searched briefly on their own before calling police.

“Not very long into the investigation officers were able to locate some evidentiary items not too far from the residence," Budge said. "These items have been forensically tested and they do link Mr. Whipple to our missing child, Elizabeth. They also have evidence that links them to the residence that they were in, and also links them together outside the home.”

Budge said they have located multiple scenes with such evidence. Whipple was located around 3 p.m. Saturday at the south end of the valley in a rural area. He was on foot and police said he had drug paraphernalia on his person.

Courtesy of Cache County Sheriff's Office.

He was booked into jail on an active warrant issued after Whipple absconded from probation. Logan Police interviewed him and said he was not cooperative.

"He made some statements that we were able to verify as untrue very quickly into this interview because of the knowledge we had of his whereabouts previously," Budge said. "Everything he has done has been quite deceitful and we have no reason to believe anything he told us was accurate.”

Police have executed search warrants on the home in question and several nearby areas, andthey are asking those who live nearby to check their surveillance footage and their property for anything suspicious.

Police asked anyone who meets the following criteria to call them at 435-753-7555:

  • They saw Mr. Whipple or Elizabeth on Saturday.
  • You live in the Southwest part of Logan or along the area of 1200 West between Nibley and Hyrum and have video cameras on your residence or business to please contact us as well.
  • For that same area we ask that individuals check their yards, buildings, containers and garbage cans for anything they don’t recognize.

The department posted on Facebook Monday stating that "a request was put out" for volunteers to help search, however they are not requesting volunteer assistance at this point in the search.

"We have over 200 law enforcement officers from a dozen agencies including local, State and Federal officers," the department states.  "We hope you can appreciate the sensitive nature of what is occurring. Please be patient. We understand the frustration and the many willing persons who want to help with this search. As soon as we have that need we will reach out."

If you would like to help the family or donate to the search and rescue crews, the Cache Children’s Justice Center is coordinating the effort. You can reach them at 435-554-1274. Organizers say gift cards for the family are needed.