LOGAN (ABC4 News) – Hundreds of relatives, friends and complete strangers gathered Tuesday afternoon for an emotional and colorful final goodbye to Lizzy Shelley.
Outside Nyman Funeral Home over 500 bikers lined up for the procession while inside an overflow crowd of more than 300 packed the chapel to remember the life of the smiling, brown-eyed girl who police say was abducted and killed by her own uncle Alex Whipple on May 25th.
Whipple is the 21-year-old brother of Lizzy’s mother Jessica Whipple. Her fiancee Detrich Black’s has been Lizzy’s father figure virtually all her life.
Detrich’s father, Norman Black, read a statement on behalf of the family.
“Lizzy was a special young lady,” he said. “We’re going to miss her very much.”
Many mourners wore bright colors for a little girl who loved to pick flowers and chose rainbow as her favorite color because she just couldn’t pick just one of those.
During the service, Jessica Whipple tearfully shared stories of how her daughter would marvel at the sight of the moon and how she enjoyed getting a free apple or orange during every grocery shopping trip to Smith’s.
Other family members recalled how Lizzy’s parents had a “one flower per yard, per day” rule because she always wanted to pick all the flowers she saw and how she was fascinated by bugs who she would treat like close personal friends.
Neighbor Candida Jensen would often see Lizzy out playing in her yard.
“Having a little 6-year-old granddaughter, of course, makes it hit close to home,” Jensen told ABC4 News. “And the fact that we usually don’t see anything so horrific in our community, it just tears at my heart.”
Lizzy’s grandfather figure had a final message for everyone from the family,
“If you’re out and about and find yourself admiring nature around you, think of Lizzy,” Norman Black said. “As you’re out and about and find yourself looking at a sunset or any of the beauty that is this earth we live on think of Lizzy and all the things that she loved: rocks, flowers, sunsets and especially rainbows and that you live your life the best that you know how that you’ll remember Lizzy and you live your life as Lizzy would live hers.”
Lizzy was laid to rest in a small white casket painted with colorful butterflies and the words “Live Like Lizzy” during a private graveside service at Logan City Cemetery.
Meanwhile, Alex Whipple remains in the Cache County Jail after a judge denied bail at a court hearing Monday. He’s charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, desecration of a human body and two counts of obstruction of justice.
His court-appointed defense attorney Shannon Demler negotiated to eliminate the possibility of the death penalty in exchange for Whipple telling authorities where to find Lizzy’s body.
Cache County Attorney James Swink stated that his goal is for Whipple to receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Whipple’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 24th at 4 p.m.