When the sun went down Saturday night, there was still no sign of a five-year-old girl who was last seen in her Logan home in the early morning hours Saturday.

Logan City Police say Elizabeth Jessica Shelley and her uncle, 21-year-old Alexander Whipple, were reported missing at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Whipple, who was detained by Cache County Sheriff's deputies just after 3 p.m. that day, is not cooperating with the investigation, and for now, he has been booked into jail on a probation hold, Capt. Tyson Budge said.

“We will work tirelessly through the night and more officers will replace us in the morning — we will not stop until we find Elizabeth,” Budge said. “We will maintain hope for her safety and use everything in our power to locate her.”

While investigators questioned Whipple for hours and attempted to gain more information about the child’s disappearance, police said dozens of law enforcement officers and other volunteers spent the day combing the neighborhoods surrounding the child's home in the area of 400 West and 100 South.

The search eventually included FBI agents with experience in child abduction cases who volunteered to assist in the search, Budge said.

The search for Shelley was highly methodical, with multiple search teams going door-to-door, talking with residents and obtaining their permission to search homes, garages and sheds inside and out in a multi-block radius surrounding the family’s home.

Additional volunteers carefully searched a canal located in the vicinity, with no apparent results. Only the family home and the Bear River Charter School have been marked with police tape, although late in the afternoon several streets in the area were blocked off.

“This is a very physically, mentally and emotionally draining event,” he said. “It takes numerous resources and manpower. People do not want to leave and we have to make them, knowing they will be the first back in tomorrow morning.”

As if the situation wasn’t hard enough, Budge said there has been misinformation shared on social media that police are simply not able to compete with because it is spread so quickly.

“It does not help the investigation and it is not fair to the family of the missing child,” he said.

For now, officers were preparing to execute a search warrant in the family home late Saturday night. If that did not provide some kind of break in the case, the search for the child will resume early Sunday morning.


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Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at amacavinta@hjnews.com.