Police Have ‘Strong’ DNA Evidence Against Uncle in Case of Missing 5-Year-Old

May 28, 2019, 6:55 PM | Updated: May 29, 2019, 3:10 pm

LOGAN, Utah — Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen told reporters Tuesday that investigators have strong DNA evidence linking 21-year-old Alexander Whipple to the disappearance of his 5-year-old niece, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shelley. Jensen said the evidence was found both near Shelley’s home and on Whipple.

“From the evidence we have, we believe that Lizzie is hurt, but we don’t know what condition she is in right now,” Jensen said. “I think our biggest concern for now is finding Lizzie for the family. We’ll deal with the charges later. Of course Lizzie, finding her is important, not only to the family, but also to our case preparation as well.”

Searchers from various agencies were seen, looking through gravel and mulch piles near Nibley Tuesday morning, and looking through bushes and garbage cans near downtown Logan in the afternoon.

Meantime, Alex Whipple was arraigned on unrelated charges in 1st District Court. Police say when they found Whipple Saturday, he was hiding a baseball bat in the back of his jacket, and that he at first he refused to tell them who he was.

Among the roughly dozen or so people who showed up for Whipple’s court hearing Tuesday, were some concerned mothers and grandmothers who said they feel for Lizzie Shelley’s family.

“I have family in this town, I have kids and grandkids,” Melanie Norton said. “This is not the kind of community we live in. This has literally never happened in our town before. People that live in Logan, Utah live here, because we have a safe and loving community, and we’re all in shock.”

Norton doesn’t know Lizzie or her family, but says she felt she needed to be there to support them.

“We’re all scared. We all want Lizzie found,” Norton said. “We want her brought home, but the reality of the situation is as the days continue, people are getting angry. They’re getting frustrated.”

Another mother and grandmother, Betty Balls was there too.

“I don’t know the family, but when I first heard about it, my heart dropped,” Balls said. “I hope the best, that she comes home, you know. It’s just heartbreaking.”

Whipple is being held in the Cache County Jail without bail, but his possible bail will be discussed again before Judge Kevin Allen next Monday, June 3rd.

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Police Have ‘Strong’ DNA Evidence Against Uncle in Case of Missing 5-Year-Old