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APNewsBreak: Lawyer says uncle led police to girl's body

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on a Utah man charged with killing his 5-year-old niece (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Police say they have found a body believed to be a 5-year-old Utah girl taken from her home and killed by her uncle five days ago.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said Wednesday that the body believed to be Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley was found in a heavily wooded area less than a block from her home.

Jensen said her 21-year-old uncle told his lawyer where the body was hidden. A positive identification is pending.

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Jensen says prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for the map provided by suspect Alex Whipple.

The discovery came hours after Whipple was charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and other counts.

Whipple’s lawyer Shannon Demler says his client knows he did something inexcusable but wanted the family to find some kind of closure.

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3:15 p.m.

The grandfather of a Utah man charged with murder in the disappearance of his niece says his grandson had a sad childhood and many problems but never showed violent tendencies that would suggest he was capable of killing anyone.

Bill Whipple said Wednesday that the extended family is in shock about why 21-year-old Alex Whipple might have harmed 5-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley.

He says Alex Whipple’s mother left the family when he was young, leaving his father to raise three children alone while he worked as a truck driver.

He says Alex Whipple spent time in foster homes and didn’t graduate from high school.

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2:15 p.m.

A lawyer for a Utah man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece says his client has told police where the girl’s body is hidden.

Defense attorney Shannon Demler said Wednesday that 21-year-old Alex Whipple hid the body under trees and brush less than a block from the home of victim Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said the body has not yet been recovered.

However, he said officers have a “very credible tip” and are waiting for a crime-scene investigation team.

Demler says his client “did a bad thing” but wanted to help the child’s parents find closure. Police have been searching for the girl since she was reported missing Saturday.

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11:53 a.m.

The uncle of a missing 5-year-old Utah girl has been charged with murder as a search for the child stretches into a fifth day.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said Wednesday that even though the body of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley has not been found, her blood was located on a watch and a sweat shirt of her uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple.

Prosecutors say they also have a broken kitchen knife with the girl’s blood on it and her skirt, which was “hastily buried” near the family home.

Whipple was charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and desecration of a human body.

Investigators have been searching for the girl since Saturday. They say Whipple has not cooperated.

His attorney Shannon Demler did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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