Body believed to be missing 5-year-old Utah girl found hours after uncle is charged with murder: Police
Wednesday - 29/05/2019 21:41
Five-year-old Elizabeth Jessica Shelley was reported missing on May 25.
Utah police "strongly" believe that they've found the body of a missing 5-year-old girl whose uncle had been charged with her murder just hours before, police said on Wednesday.
Logan City Police Department Chief Gary Jensen said in a late afternoon press conference that 5-year-old Elizabeth Jessica Shelley's uncle, Alex Whipple, gave police a tip that led to human remains in a wooded area half a block away from the house in which the young girl lived.
Jensen said that although they could not yet positively identify the remains, "we feel strongly that Lizzy has been found."
Whipple, 21, was charged on Wednesday with aggravated murder, child kidnapping, desecration of a body and two counts of obstructing justice, Jensen said during an emotional news conference earlier on Wednesday.
The tip was provided after prosecutors took the death penalty off the table, Jensen said.
A spokesperson for Elizabeth's parents said in a statement that the family is heartbroken.
Elizabeth was reported missing on May 25, police said.
Whipple told police that "alcohol makes him 'black out' and sometimes he does 'criminal things' when he blacks out," the documents said.
Evidence in the case includes a bloody knife with Elizabeth's DNA profile on it, which was recovered in a parking lot, according to the court documents. The knife matched the brand of knives in Elizabeth's family's home and the knife block in that home was found to be missing a knife, the documents said.
Whipple's watch and sweatshirt were also found to have his 5-year-old niece's DNA profile, according to the documents.