The search for Elizabeth Jessica Shelley, the missing 5-year-old Logan girl, continues as multiple law enforcement agencies focus on detailed searches of a 10-mile stretch from Logan to Hyrum.
Police have identified Shelley’s uncle, Alex Whipple, as the main suspect and have asked the public to help track his whereabouts since late Friday evening. Logan Capt. Tyson Budge told reporters that police have found multiple scenes where evidence ties Whipple and Shelley together. He would not elaborate on what that evidence is, but said that police are building a case against Whipple, who hasn’t cooperated with the investigation and was booked into jail on a probation violation.
“We have no reason to believe anything he has told us was accurate," Budge said Monday, three days after the search began. “We believe Alex Whipple was involved in the disappearance of Elizabeth Shelley.”
Whipple is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. via video conference from jail.
Jill Parker, with the Cache County Attorney’s Office, read a statement to reporters on behalf of the Shelley family.
"As a family we are overwhelmed scared and sad at the recent tragic events that have touched our lives.
"We are grateful for all of those who continue to search and help. We would like to thank law enforcement, volunteers and all other agencies and businesses for their tireless efforts in helping us find our daughter.
“Our family asks for privacy and respect during this difficult time and continue to hope for the safe return of our sweet girl, Lizzy.”
Shelley’s family reported her missing at 10 a.m. Saturday, saying both the girl and Whipple were gone. They had last seen her at the home at 2 a.m. that day. Police later found Whipple walking alone in a rural area.
Police say they have the assistance they need for the search — a crew of 200 is working the area — but they are asking residents to check surveillance cameras, including doorbell cameras, to see if they spot anything suspicious. They are focusing primarily along 1200 West between Nibley and Hyrum.
Budge also asked that anyone in that area to check their garages, storage units, garbage cans and other places for anything out of the ordinary.
Police say they are working through a number of such tips at this time, but they want more.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 435-753-7555.
A gas station employee in Hyrum told police he saw Whipple at about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, less than two hours before police eventually found him and police confirmed that by checking the surveillance tape, FOX 13 reported.
Ryan Liljenquist, an employee at the Hyrum Shortstop said Whipple bought cigarettes and beer.
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