LOGAN — Police have arrested 21-year-old Alexander “Alex” Whipple as they continue to search for his 5-year-old niece, Elizabeth Shelley, who was last seen early Saturday morning.
Whipple was booked late Saturday night into the Cache County Jail on a bench warrant, issued out of Salt Lake County, for violating his probation in a felony theft case. He is being held on $25,000 bond.
Police suspect Shelley was last seen with Whipple early Saturday morning, around 2 a.m. He was allegedly visiting the family overnight and discovered missing around 10 a.m. at the same time Shelley could not be found. He also didn’t have a vehicle or cell phone, and family members could not make contact with him.
Multiple agencies including the Cache County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation went door to door, searching homes and yards in the neighborhood around 100 South 400 West. They were assisted by several K-9 units and Cache County Search and Rescue teams.
Around 3:00 p.m. officers found Whipple, however Shelley was not with him. He reportedly had some of the girl’s clothing in his possession and was taken into custody for questioning.
Logan City Police Captain Curtis Hooley said Whipple is talking to investigators. He has not given specific information though, regarding where Shelley may be.
Officers are considering the situation “highly suspicious.” They are transitioning their search from a rescue to a recovery effort.
Officers are asking any residents in the area between 300 South to 100 North and 300 West to 600 West that have video surveillance, including smart doorbells, to please check their videos and cameras, specifically between the hours of 2 a.m. and noon on Saturday. If those cameras captured any suspicious activity, please contact police.
Salt Lake County court records show Whipple had a warrant issued for his arrest last month, for violating his probation. In January 2018, he was convicted of felony theft, failing to stop at the command of law enforcement and driving under the influence.