Uncle accused in girl's death charged with sexual assault

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The Utah man accused of murdering his 5-year-old niece last month will also face sex abuse charges in the case, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Cache County Attorney's Office said new evidence recovered by the Utah State Crime Lab led prosecutors to charge Alex Whipple, 21, with rape of a child in the first degree and sodomy upon a child in the first degree in connection to the murder of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, whose remains were found several days after she was first reported missing May 25.

Whipple was previously charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and abuse of desecration of a human body.

Alex Whipple appears in 1st District Court for his initial appearance Monday, June 3, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal, via AP, Pool)

Lizzy was first reported missing by her mother on the morning of May 25. She also reported her brother, Whipple, missing. He had reportedly slept on the couch the previous night after drinking with his sister and her boyfriend.

The body of Elizabeth "Lizzy" Shelley was found Wednesday after a 5-day search. Alex Whipple, 21, has been charged in her death.
(Logan City Police)

Whipple was taken into custody several days later and, on May 29, after giving police a map to Lizzy’s remains in exchange for immunity from the death penalty, officials recovered the body of the missing girl just a block away from her home in Logan, Utah.

The body was found under trees and brush.

Whipple’s defense attorney Shannon Demler did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment in regards to the latest charges.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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