LOGAN — A criminal case has been filed against Alexander “Alex” Whipple in connection with the disappearance of 5-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley. The Cache County Attorney’s Office Wednesday morning filed the charges in 1st District Court. They include aggravated murder, a capital offense; child kidnapping, a second-degree felony; two counts of obstructing justice, a third-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a body, a third-degree felony.
Later, during a press conference, Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen became emotional as he read Whipple’s charges. He explained that the decision to file the case came from evidence that investigators have found near the Logan girl’s home.
“A knife with blood [on it], said Jensen. “This knife was broken. It is the brand of knife that is from the home, and there is a knife missing from the family’s knife block. We have evidence of a PVC pipe, it has red substance and a partial palm print in the red substance matching Alex’s. There is a teal skirt with white lace that was hastily buried that had blood matching Lizzy’s.”
According to charging documents, Shelley’s mother, Jessica Whipple, called police Saturday at 9:30 a.m., after she woke up and found the home’s front door wide open, and Alex and Lizzy missing. She claimed that she had invited the suspect over Friday night, to play video games and drink alcohol with her and her live-in boyfriend, Detrich Black. The couple explained that Alex was invited to sleep on the couch that night, after they went to bed around mid-night. They claimed Lizzy was last seen asleep in bed, wearing a teal skirt with white lace and a red tank-top with a “Fourth of July” theme.
Jensen explained that when deputies arrested Alex later Saturday afternoon, walking alone near Mt. Sterling, the clothes he was wearing had the victim’s blood on them.
“His wristwatch and his sweatshirt contain blood that is DNA positive to match Lizzy’s blood.”
Charging documents also state that while Alex was at police headquarters, waiting to be interviewed, he was seen licking his hands and trying to wipe them clean. He later admitted to being at the victim’s house Friday night, after first claiming that it had been two weeks since he visited his sister’s home. He also told investigators that “alcohol makes him black out and sometimes he does criminal things.”
Jensen explained that officers are continuing to follow up on thousands of leads and searching hundreds of locations. He said the search for Lizzy, now in its fifth-day, is weighing heavy upon everyone involved.
“You guys feel it. This is a 5-year-old girl and she is still missing, and that’s not easy for anybody, especially after the hours. We want to find her. We want the family to have what they deserve and that’s closure, and or Lizzy back in their home. That’s what we want and it is hard.”
Whipple remains in jail after a judge Tuesday ordered that he be held without bail. He is scheduled to appear again in court on June 3.
The Cache County Attorney’s Office released a statement that said, “Today is a difficult day, our thoughts continue to be with Lizzy’s family. This tragic event has shaken our community. We are touched by the tremendous show of support from so many. We thank all those who have aided and who continue to aid in the search. The Cache County Attorney’s Office is committed to fighting for justice. Justice for Lizzy, her family, and our community.”
The Cache County Attorney Victim’s Advocates has set up a donation account for the Shelley family. It is at Zions Bank under the account name: Elizabeth Shelley Donation.