Suspect In Disappearance Of Logan Girl Charged With Aggravated Murder, Kidnapping

May 29, 2019, 11:35 AM | Updated: 3:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The suspect in the disappearance of Elizabeth Shelley, 5, of Logan, was charged with murder Wednesday in First District Court.

According to charging documents, Alexander William Whipple, 21, was charged with aggravated murder, a capital felony; child kidnapping, a first-degree felony, two counts of obstructing justice, both second-degree felonies, and a count of abuse or desecration of a dead human body, a third-degree felony.

Shelley disappeared from her home in the early hours of May 25 and was reported missing later that morning. Shelley’s mother reported that Whipple, who did not live at the home, had stayed the night. Shelley’s mother said that both Whipple and Shelley were missing in the morning and that “the front door to the residence (was) wide open,” documents state.

Authorities arrested Whipple several hours later.

During the police interview, the detective noticed “dark colored stains on (Whipple’s) pants that appeared to be consistent with dried blood,” according to court documents.

Investigators also discovered a knife with blood on it in the parking lot of a charter school. That knife appeared to match a block set in Shelley’s home that was missing a knife, the report states. Near where the knife was found, authorities found clothes that matched the description of the outfit Shelley was last seen wearing. The clothes “appeared to have been hastily buried under some dirt and bark.”

Also near the knife was a PVC pipe with a partial palm print in a red substance consistent with blood, according to the report. The palm print was positively matched to Whipple. DNA evidence from other pieces of evidence was also positively matched to Whipple.

Police matched DNA evidence from several pieces of evidence, including the knife, to Shelley, the report states.

“It is believed that probable cause exists for one count of desecration of a human body because Elizabeth’s body has yet to be recovered,” according to the charging documents, “and Alexander has taken substantial steps to move, remove, or conceal Elizabeth’s body.”

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Suspect In Disappearance Of Logan Girl Charged With Aggravated Murder, Kidnapping