A Utah girl's life was cut short when she was presumed dead following her disappearance. Alex Whipple, 21, was charged with aggravated murder today after police found enough evidence to charge him for the crime.

Charges were announced during a press conference by Logan Police Department Chief Gary Jensen.

Whipple was the uncle of the victim, Elizabeth Jessica Shelley, 5, as confirmed by police.

Victim missing

Before the charges were brought up against Whipple, Shelley was reported missing.

Police presumed that Whipple was the reason for her disappearance due to evidence at the suspect’s home, according to a report from USA Today.

The victim’s mother reported her daughter missing earlier Saturday morning after discovering she mysteriously left along with Whipple who spent the previous night at her home, according to a report from CBS News.

Multiple charges against Whipple

Along with being charged with aggravated murder, he was also charged with a capital crime and various felonies such as child kidnapping, abuse of a dead body, and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Chief Jensen said during his press conference that the district attorney had also charged Whipple with desecration of remains from a dead body as well as trying to hide the body.

Strong evidence

The evidence that was used to help with the case was a PVC pipe, a shattered knife, and blood on clothes, which linked Whipple to Shelley’s murder. Whipple was arrested on Saturday on charges unrelated to the murder.

The police discovered that the DNA on the evidence connected to Whipple’s DNA which helped to connect him to Shelley’s murder, according to a report from CBS News.

No clear motive

Police still have not figured out what Whipple’s motive was for killing Shelley. Reports said that Whipple didn’t admit to killing Shelley but blamed the murder on “blacking out” from alcohol.

Police chief visibly emotional

During Jensen’s press conference, he confirmed Shelley’s death.

“Even though we haven't found Lizzy, to hear a charge of aggravated murder brings with it a notion of finality," Jensen said. He also talked about how a murder like this can affect a family emotionally.

Jensen was extremely happy to bring the Whipple to justice and hopes that other families don’t have to deal with a serious tragedy like this. Jensen said that he hopes his team will find Shelley’s body in the next couple days in order to put this case to an official close.

“We want to find her," Jensen said. "We want the family to have what they deserve and that's closure, and/or Lizzy back in their home. That's what we want, and it is hard."

Jensen and his team are still searching the crime scene for the body. The story is still currently being updated. I’ll bring you more information in the coming days.

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