The search for a missing child from Utah has come to a sad end. Investigators believe they have found the remains of the girl, 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley.
The suspect, her uncle, provided a map of an area that authorities searched. Police announced the sad news on Wednesday.
Alex Whipple, the uncle of the girl, was formally charged with aggravated murder among other charges. Up until that point, investigators had held out hope of finding Elizabeth alive.
“We certainly wanted to bring Lizzy home,” Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said.
The child’s family thanked law enforcement and the others who helped in the search. They said that they hope to live their life like their daughter, who they nicknamed Lizzy.
“Lizzy was such a caring and giving little girl. We hope that we can look to her as an example of how to live,” the family said in a statement.
Whipple’s attorney said his client gave information to authorities. He told them the location of her body, which was near her home.
“I met with Mr. Whipple this morning and we went over the case. He felt it would be appropriate to disclose the location of the body,” attorney Shannon Demler said. “He told me, and I told authorities and took them there about 1 p.m. today.”
The girl's 21-year-old was the main suspect in the case. He was charged with a count of child kidnapping, two counts of obstruction of justice, and a count of desecration of a body.
“We don’t have a motive at this point,” the chief told reporters.
Whipple had been drinking and playing video games with Elizabeth’s mother and her live-in boyfriend the night before the girl was reported missing. Whipple told police that alcohol makes him “black out” and that “he sometimes does ‘criminal things’ when he blacks out,” the documents said.
"Investigators searching for the girl later discovered a broken, blood-stained knife that was missing from her mother’s kitchen and a PVC pipe with a partial, bloodied palm print," reported local news.
They also found blood on his clothing, watch, and the knife that matched Elizabeth's DNA.
Please pray for Elizabeth's family as they mourn her untimely passing. This is a terrible crime, and it was committed by someone that she likely trusted.