LOGAN — The family of Elizabeth Shelley is holding out hope as the search for their missing 5-year-old daughter enters its fourth day. The little girl was last seen at her Logan home near 100 South 400 West early Saturday morning, before police believe she was abducted by her 21-year-old uncle, Alexander “Alex” Whipple.
Shelley’s family claim they last saw the little girl sleeping around 2 a.m. She was later discovered missing around 10 a.m. at the same time Whipple, who was staying with the family overnight, could also not be found.
Logan City Police Capt. Tyson Budge said Shelley’s family is working with police and continuing to pray that officers find their daughter.
“It’s very difficult for them,” explained Budge. “We have the Cache County Victim’s Advocacy with them, as well as some other agencies in the valley that are helping take care of them right now. Obviously, it is a very trying time for them.”
Whipple has been in jail since deputies found him walking alone in Mt. Sterling Saturday afternoon around 3 p.m. He continues to be uncooperative with investigators, rambling and talking in circles during his interviews. He is being held on suspicion of failing to disclose his identity to police, failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, and also being in possession of drugs and a weapon.
Police have released surveillance photos of Whipple and the clothing he was wearing around Friday afternoon. They are asking residents to check their cameras and smart doorbell systems for anyone that matches the suspect’s description.
Officers have been working the case 24-hours a day since Shelley was reported missing. Search teams have combed through neighboring residences and businesses multiple times during the day. Overnight, officers are reviewing video surveillance footage and following up on leads.
Budge said the search has been taxing on officers, physically and emotionally. He expressed appreciation for those who have stepped in to help the police department.
“It has taken its toll. We have had a lot of support from a lot of different agencies. The [Federal Bureau of Investigations] reached out and sent us a ton of help. We have agencies from outside our county now that are stepping in and helping us replace some guys, so we can get some sleep.”
Investigators are still trying to trace Whipple’s travels from Shelley’s home, to where he was captured in Mt. Sterling. They claim there is still no evidence to lead them to suspect the girl is dead.
Budge explained that officers are asking residents and businesses in the southwest part of Logan or along the area of 1200 West between Nibley and Hyrum to check their yards, buildings, containers and garbage cans for anything suspicious.
“If they see anything suspicious tossed on their property or along the rural roads of the county, where not a lot of people travel, if they come across anything, please call the non-emergency police dispatch number, (435) 753-7555.”
Whipple remains in jail on $40,000 bail. He could be arraigned on formal charges in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon.