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Mother speaks during community candlelight vigil for Elizabeth Shelley

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-02 10:01:00-04

LOGAN, Utah — In an emotional speech, the mother of Elizabeth Shelley, a 5-year-old girl from Logan who was killed earlier this week, sends a message to her daughter.

Hundreds from the Logan community gathered Saturday night at the steps of the Historic Cache County Courthouse to pay their respects to a young girl, fallen too soon.

Since 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley’s disappearance last week, the community has become invested in her tragic story.

Elizabeth’s parents woke up last Saturday to find their daughter and her uncle missing. Her uncle, Alex Whipple, was later charged with aggravated murder and had his attorney lead investigators to her body.

For the first time, the family gathered with the community to light candles in Lizzy’s honor.

Lizzy’s mother, Jessica Whipple, wrote a speech for the community and her daughter.

“This past week has been a complete nightmare. The absolute unthinkable has happened, we lost our beautiful, sweet Lizzy. When this world-shattering news of her disappearance happened, it felt like I was drowning. A clock started ticking loudly inside of my head and I knew we were racing time to try and find her. Every single one of you guys stepped up so much in so many amazing ways and gave me so much strength. I want you all to know that with all of my heart, it didn’t end the way that we wanted it to, but that isn’t going to stop us from taking good care of our sweet, sweet Lizzy,” Jessica said.

Taking a moment to catch her breath, Jessica flipped the page and spoke to her daughter.

“Lizzy, my unique wild child, I love how much you love nature. You always kick off your shoes and let the earth touch your feet. We always adventure on the path less taken, your goals are always searching and hoping for a stream, a river or even a lake to dip your feet, or possibly jump right into the water. You love so many things, beautiful things that you want to share, like giving picked flowers to people or rocks that you would find. My friend called me today to tell me that she still has a rock that Lizzy gave her in her pocket and that makes me so proud to be your mom, always and forever. You are the best sister, always so helpful and so kind. You’ve taken so much time teaching your sister kind things, watching you reminds me to always be kind too,” Jessica continued.

Jessica read aloud two quotes referencing the power of one candle to inspire light in so many others, then she concluded:

“I want to light a candle in your loving memory, I light this candle for you because you have illuminated my heart. I love you, and daddy loves you, and Maddy loves you.”

Jessica and her fiancé, Detrich Black, then lit two large candles and held them up. As each candle was lit in the crowd, one by one, the community joined, lifting their light to Lizzy.

The family has a fund set up at Zion’s Bank under the name “Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Shelley,” to help cover funeral expenses. They also have a GoFundMe page which you can find here.