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Search for Missing 5-Year-Old Stretches Beyond 24 Hours

LOGAN, Utah – More agencies joined the search for 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley in Logan Sunday morning.

Searchers drained a canal near her family’s home and went door to door looking for any clues that could lead them to the girl.

Logan City Police, the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, Cache County Search and Rescue, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force searched from the ground. The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter searched overhead.

“We were able to obtain some new information this morning, some evidenciary items that we’ve located, so we believe that we’ll locate her,” said Captain Tyson Budge of the Logan City Police Department.

Police said Elizabeth disappeared from her home sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning. Budge said Elizabeth’s mother last checked on her around 2:00 a.m.

He said Elizabeth’s uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, had come to the house that night. When the family woke up around 9:30 a.m., Budge said Elizabeth and Whipple were gone.

Police began searching for them and published pictures of them on Facebook, asking people who live in the area to keep an eye out.

Just before 4:00 p.m., police announced they had found Whipple walking along a dirt road near Paradise.

Budge said Whipple refused to identify himself to the officer who found him. Police brought Whipple back to the department to be interviewed, but Budge said he would not cooperate.

By Saturday evening, police said Whipple was a suspect in Shelley’s disappearance. He was booked into the Cache County Jail for an unrelated warrant for absconding from probation.

“We’re still very confident that Alex is our prime suspect and was involved in her abduction at this time, the reason why she is missing,” Budge said.

Budge said police have found some evidence. He did not elaborate on what they found, but said it shows Whipple was involved.

“There are several locations where we believe we’ve found evidentiary items that’ll help link Mr. Whipple to this case,”

Sunday afternoon, police asked people who live in Southwest Logan, Hyrum, Nibley, and Mount Sterling to review any surveillance cameras for anything suspicious, especially between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and noon Saturday.

They also asked that people check their properties for any suspicious items.

Police said anyone who finds something suspicious should contact dispatch at (435) 753-7555.


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