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First responders in Logan cope with trauma after uncle directs police to Elizabeth Shelley’s body

Posted at 11:13 AM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 13:59:58-04

LOGAN, Utah – The search for Elizabeth Shelley has taken an emotional toll, first and foremost on the family and also on folks in this entire community.

Now that her body has been recovered and a suspect has been charged, what about the officers and first responders who are dealing with the trauma?

Several officers took part in locating Lizzie’s remains Wednesday, and afterward some just needed to walk away for a moment.

Now that much of the investigative phase is over, Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said he’s focusing on the emotional and mental well-being of those first responders.

“It takes a toll, the human nature of police officers," Jensen said. "And so now my job is to shift gears and to think about the mental well-being of a staff of people—not only mine but those that came and assisted—and so it will be something that I now have to push forward and make sure that our folks are OK," Jensen said.

Jensen said that includes emergency dispatchers, and he said he is going to meet with his staff and let them know resources are available to anyone who feels they may need them.

He said, as opposed to being shot or otherwise wounded in the line of duty, the emotional scars from cases like this one can be a little tougher to detect and may take longer to surface.

But Jensen said these days, even as opposed to when he was a younger officer, it is a lot more socially acceptable for emergency responders to take advantage of that help.

The Cache County Children's Justice Center states a donation account has been opened for the family at Zions Bank in the name "Elizabeth Shelley Donation". There is also a GoFundMe page.