Sexual assault charges filed against man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece

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LOGAN — The man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece Elizabeth Shelley has been criminally charged with two new felonies after the Cache County Attorney’s Office received new evidence.

Alexander Whipple, 21, was charged Wednesday in 1st District Court with rape of a child and sodomy upon a child, both first-degree felonies.

The Cache County Attorney’s Office noted in a news release that the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner hasn’t yet determined Elizabeth’s cause of death.

Whipple also faces aggravated murder and child kidnapping charges, both first-degree felonies; two counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a body, a third-degree felony.

He made his first appearance in court Monday, the same day as Elizabeth’s public viewing.

In exchange for information on where Elizabeth’s body was, Cache County Attorney James Swink took the [death penalty off the table](< >). Whipple agreed and gave police information on where to find his niece's body.

Elizabeth’s body was found by the Logan Police Department a half-block away from her home May 29, just a few days after she was first reported missing on May 25.

The young girl’s funeralwas held Tuesday and the mourning community showed an outpouring of support for her and her family. Later that day, Elizabeth was laid to rest at Logan City Cemetery.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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