FILE – In this Saturday, May 25, 2019 booking photo provided by the Cache County Sheriff’s Office shows Alex Whipple. Whipple, the uncle of a missing 5-year-old Utah girl has been charged with murder as a search for the child is in the fifth day. Logan police chief Gary Jensen said on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, that, although the body of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley is not found, her blood was located on a watch and a sweat shirt of her uncle, the 21-year-old Whipple. (The Cache County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)
SALT LAKE CITY – A body found after a five day search is that of a 5-year-old girl taken from her home and murdered by her uncle, Utah, police confirmed Thursday.
Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley’s remains were located in a heavily wooded area less than a block from her home on Wednesday, but authorities could not immediately confirm in the hair.
Also Thursday, a 911 call released by The Police turned out to be the panic her parents felt moments after realizing she was missing.
Detrich Black, the friend of Shelley’s mother, Jessica Whipple, was calm, but distraught when he reported the 5-year-old disappearance. “My daughter is missing,” he says to the dispatcher. “We woke up and the front door is wide open.”
The girl was reported missing Saturday morning, and the officers spent five days combing the town lies in a picturesque valley near the Idaho border, approximately 80 miles (129 km) north of Salt Lake City.
The body was found after the girl 21-year-old uncle Alex Whipple gave his lawyer a map of where she was hidden. In exchange, prosecutors promised not to pursue the death penalty.
Whipple killed her Saturday after spending the night at his sister’s house and hid the body among the trees and brush, prosecutors have said. He was charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and other counts.
Attorney Shannon Demler said that his client has something to apologize, but wants the family to find closure.
The blood of a child was found on Whipple’s watch and sweatshirt, authorities said, and his handprint was discovered on a PVC pipe. Nearby was a broken blade taken from the family in the kitchen bearing the blood of the girl.
Whipple has a criminal record with a 2016 assault, possession of a stolen vehicle and drug-related costs.
Associated Press writer Morgan Smith contributed to this story.