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Evidence ties uncle to missing 5-year-old Utah girl, police say

Crime Watch

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Watch the news conference held at 11 a.m. Monday morning in the video above

The following is a news release from the Logan, Utah Police Department.

LOGAN, Utah – Someone called the Logan Police Department around 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25, to report a missing 5-year-old girl, Elizabeth Jessica Shelley.

According to the family, the complainants brother, Alex Whipple, showed up Friday evening and they were all in the home at 2 a.m. When they awoke the next morning a little after 9 a.m. they couldn’t find Elizabeth and Alex was no longer in the home. They searched for a while and then contacted police.

Police began searching for Elizabeth and Alex, multiple agencies were called in to assist in these efforts. 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. This evidence also connects Mr. Whipple to the residence from which she went missing and to Elizabeth herself. Some items were then located another short distance away which also shows a forensic connection to our missing 5-year-old.

RELATED: Utah police searching for 5-year-old girl

Cache County Deputies located Alex Whipple approximately 3 p.m. at the south end of Cache Valley. He failed to identify himself and had a warrant for his arrest for not checking in with probation for recent charges of receiving stolen property and driving under the influence. He was also in possession of drug paraphernalia. The Cache County Sheriff’s Department has charged him with those criminal violations.

He was transported to Logan City police where he was interviewed by detectives. Mr. Whipple made several inconsistent statements at the very beginning and lied about his whereabouts, which were already known. He was uncooperative throughout the interrogation. Several search warrants were obtained and executed throughout the night on several crime scenes and for evidence from Alex Whipple’s person. The evidence obtained from Alex Whipple was tested and there is confirmed forensic evidence from Elizabeth Shelley off his person.

Multiple agencies, including local, state and federal teams continue to work day and night to locate Elizabeth Shelley.

We continue to search the area of southwest Logan, Utah and Cache Valley.

RELATED: Uncle ‘uncooperative’ as search continues for missing 5-year-old

We have resources from many agencies from Law Enforcement to Search and Rescue groups. These agencies include the FBI, the Child Exploitation Task Force and Violent Crimes Task Force, Homeland Security, Cache County Sheriff’s Office, North Park Police Department, Smithfield Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol, Adult Probation and Parole and Great Basin K9.

We are working leads which have come forward from our citizenry, including possible sightings of Alex Whipple on Saturday.

We ask the public to contact us immediately if you have any information at (435) 753-7555.