Police in Utah have arrested the 21-year-old uncle of missing girl Elizabeth Shelley, Alexander Whipple, who was the last seen with the girl on the day she went missing.
As CNN reported, police in Logan arrested the man on Sunday on a probation violation and booked him into Cache County jail. Though Whipple’s arrest was not connected to the disappearance of the 5-year-old girl, police had identified him as the main suspect in the case and made ominous statements about the prospect of finding the girl alive.
Police said that Whipple had come to the family’s home on Friday night and he was last seen at the same time Elizabeth Shelley was last spotted. Officials said they are continuing to search for Shelley, but Logan police Capt. Tyson Budge told CNN that the case “is not going to end well.”
On Saturday, Budge said police have reason to believe that the missing girl had been “harmed.”
“We’re very concerned,” Budge said, via the Salt Lake Tribune. “At this point, we believe she’s been harmed.”
Investigators seem to be zeroing in on a potential location for the girl, saying they are reviewing all available surveillance footage from a specific part of Logan. Police added that Whipple had been “uncooperative” with investigators.
The disappearance of Elizabeth Shelley has attracted national attention, with many news outlets picking up the story and people sharing information about her disappearance. Some have tried to remain hopeful despite statements from police that indicate the girl was in grave danger, making reference to the rescue of Jayme Closs, who was able to escape from a man who had killed her parents and taken her captive for several weeks.
Police in Logan have released few details about the case so far, leading to some frustration from many in the Logan community. But police asked for people in the community to be patient and said there are reasons they are not able to share more details at this time.
“[Community members] do not have all the information because we cannot release everything pertinent to this investigation,” police said, via CNN. “There are many agencies in a coordinated effort working around the clock and will continue to work until she is found. We will update Facebook as information becomes available.”
Updated Missing Child Elizabeth Shelley flyer. Please call 435-753-7555 with any information. pic.twitter.com/E3tFiP3NBa
— LCPD 9-1-1 Dispatch (@Logan_Cache_911) May 26, 2019
Elizabeth Shelley is described as 3-foot-6 and 40 pounds, with a slim build, brown eyes, and brown hair. Anyone who has seen the missing girl or has information about her disappearance is asked to call police at 435-753-7555.