Utah Uncle Now Charged With Rape of Murdered 5-Year-Niece

Alexander Whipple allegedly told Utah police alcohol sometimes makes him do "criminal things" after his 5-year-old niece, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Shelley, went missing.

By Jair Hilburn
Digital Original
Uncle Of Missing 5-Year-Old Elizabeth Shelley Charged With Murder

After being accused of kidnapping and murdering Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, his 5-year-old niece, Alexander William Whipple is now facing rape charges as well.

These charges were brought against him on June 5, the day after Shelley’s funeral, when the Utah State Crime Lab received new evidence that led prosecutors to charge Alexander Whipple, 21, for two more first-degree felonies.

"This information led to the filing of two additional charges against Alex Whipple in the disappearance and murder of 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley. These charges are rape of a child, a first degree felony and sodomy upon a child, also a first degree felony," the Cache County Attorney's Office said, according to CNN.

He has also been charged with multiple misdemeanors, including drug possession, failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, and failing to disclose his identity.

Alexander Whipple

Shelley was reported missing on May 25. She and Alexander were last seen at Shelley’s home in Logan the night before when Alexander came over to visit. Jessica Whipple — Shelley’s mom — and her fiancé, Detrich Black, woke up the next morning and found both Shelley and Alexander were no longer at the house.

Alexander was located and arrested that afternoon, according to the Deseret News. He was found walking along the side of a road with a metal bat and was reportedly "uncooperative" with police. He allegedly tried to walk away from a deputy who found him and gave false information before he was wrestled to the ground.

Later in the investigation, police would confirm they believed Shelley was dead after finding a broken knife and a teal skirt that matched the description of the one Shelley was last seen wearing. Her body was then discovered after Alexander allegedly reached a deal to avoid the death penalty and revealed where her body was located.

No motive has been disclosed, although Alexander allegedly told police alcohol makes him "black out" and sometimes do "criminal things," according to The Deseret News.

The state examiner has yet to conclude the official cause of death.

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