Police searching for missing five-year-old Utah girl take her uncle into custody as 'main suspect'
The Logan City Police Department announced the arrest of Elizabeth's uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, who they described as the 'main suspect'
The uncle of a five-year-old Utah girl who was last seen at her home around 2 am on Saturday, 25 May, and was reported missing at 10 am that same morning has been arrested and charged. Police described him as the "main suspect" and said he was being "uncooperative".
According to a press release by the Logan City Police Department, Elizabeth Jessica Shelley was last seen in the presence of her uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, on the West side of Logan.
Officers had been searching for Whipple, who was at the family's home on Friday night but was not there the next morning, since her disappearance and finally announced his capture on Sunday, May 26. They found him on Saturday afternoon in the city of Hyrum, a 15-minute drive from Logan.
Law enforcement personnel conducted searches throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning for the five-year-old but were ultimately left disappointed. The Logan City Police Department announced that as of Sunday evening, more than 200 people were participating in the search.
Authorities still have very little to work on in connection to the disappearance. They said they did not know what type of shirt she was last wearing but that they believe she was wearing either blue jeans or a teal colored plaid skirt. She was also described as being 3'6" with shoulder length curly brown hair with choppy bangs and brown eyes.
In a bid to generate leads, authorities asked any residents living in the area between 300 south to 100 north and 300 west to 600 west that have video surveillance, including smart doorbells to check their cameras and videos specifically for the hours between 2 am and noon on May 25, the day of Elizabeth's disappearance.
They asked residents living in Southwest Logan, Nibley, Hyrum or Mount Sterling areas to be vigilant of suspicious items on their property and advised them to not touch any such object and call dispatch immediately in the scenario they did find something. Police also requested that any residences and businesses in these areas that have an outdoor camera system or ring doorbell camera to review the footage for any suspicious activity between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm on May 25.
Whipple has not been charged in connection to Elizabeth's disappearance yet. Police said he was arrested and booked into Cache County jail in connection with a warrant out of Salt Lake City regarding a failure to comply with probation and that they are currently seeking additional search warrants. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.
The investigation is still ongoing, though Logan police Capt. Tyson Budge is now fearing the worst. "We’re very concerned," he said. "At this point, we believe she's been harmed."