5-Year-Old Girl Vanishes And Her ‘Uncooperative’ Uncle Considered ‘Main Suspect’

Authorities believe Alex Whipple was with his 5-year-old niece Lizzie Shelley when she vanished and say he's changed his story regarding her disappearance.

By Gina Tron
Elizabeth Jessica Shelley and Alexander Whipple

A 5-year-old girl has gone missing in Utah and police there have identified her uncle as the main suspect.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Shelley, 5, was last seen at her home in Logan at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Logan City Police Department. She was discovered to be missing eight hours later.

Her uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, is believed to have been with her when she vanished. He is being described as “the main suspect” by police.

They wrote that when the family woke up that morning, they couldn’t find either Whipple or the little girl, police say. “They searched for a while and then contacted police.”

“Police began search for Elizabeth and Alex, multiple agencies were called in to assist in these efforts,” police wrote. “Officers located several items of interest a short distance from the home. This item has been tested and there is forensic evidence of 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley.”

They said forensic evidence also connects Whipple to her. Police added that they can't be specific about the nature of the evidence.

"We understand the frustration and the many willing persons who want to help with this search,” the department said Monday.

By Sunday, Whipple was in police custody on a warrant  for absconding from probation. Police have described him as "uncooperative."

“Mr. Whipple made several inconsistent statements at the very beginning and lied about his whereabouts which were already known,” police wrote. “He was uncooperative throughout the interrogation.”

Alexander Whipple

Multiple agencies are searching and more than 200 individuals are assisting in the search effort to find Shelley. Police are urging anyone who lives or works in certain parts of the city to check their yards, buildings, containers and garbage cans. Additionally, they are requesting that citizens check any cameras or smart doorbell systems for any sign of Whipple. Anyone with video footage or with information is asked to call the Logan Police at 435-753-7555.

Whipple is being held on a $25,000 bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.

Shelley is described as 3 feet, 6 inches tall, with shoulder-length curly brown hair with choppy bangs and brown eyes.

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