LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Community support has helped Lizzy Shelley’s family get through their grief.
“We appreciate all of those who are helping bring justice to our Lizzy,” said grandfather Norman Black.
And that’s found inside a courtroom where Shelley’s uncle, Alex Whipple appeared for a routine court matter Monday.
He’s accused of raping and murdering the 5-year-old girl who in late May was kidnapped from her home.
Immediately, her uncle became a suspect but refused to cooperate.
It wasn’t until authorities agreed not to pursue the death penalty that Whipple relented and provided information as to where she could be found.
Lizzy’s grandfather said her death has hit the family hard.
“We appreciate what everyone is doing for us as a family,” Black said following Monday’s hearing. “Of course, it’s a hard process to go through.”
The allegation against Whipple took the family by surprise. Black reportedly said he never showed any violent tendencies.
In court, he let his attorney do all the talking as both sides set a future date for a preliminary hearing.
Understandably, her parents have remained silent but through Lizzy’s grandfather, they’re thankful for the support they’ve received.
“We’re appreciative for all of the support,” Black said. “I cannot say enough about the Cache County community all that they have done for our family for me, our grandchildren my son and my daughter-in-law and it’s been wonderful.
Whipple will be back in court in August for a preliminary hearing.