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Grandfather of suspect in the death of little girl says he is a troubled family member

Alexander Whipple is charged with aggravated murder. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

LOGAN, Utah — The grandfather of the suspect believed responsible for the death of little Lizzy Shelly is speaking out this week.  Bill Whipple says his grandson, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, is a troubled man who wanted to hurt the family, and that, he believes, is the motive for her killing.

“He had an empty home, an empty life.  He was in and out of foster homes. He would run away from them.  He was always on the run and these are the things that after a while start to wear on you,” the elder Whipple says of the younger suspect.

Whipple told KSL 5’s Ashley Moser on Wednesday night that Alex’s troubled past included drug abuse and homelessness, all stemming back to his mother leaving him at a very young age.

Mr.Whipple said that to be honest, life didn’t deal Alexander Whipple a very good hand and in the end no one may ever know the real reasons for his actions. The last few days the younger Whipple had grown darker and had posted some disturbing things on social media.

Whipple says despite warning signs of trouble, the discovery of the body of Lizzy on Wednesday was a huge shock.  He says in the end, other family members began to believe that Alex Whipple wanted to hurt the whole family, and that is ultimately the motive for the tragedy that has the community of Logan in shock.

On Wednesday, the younger Whipple agreed to tell his attorney where his niece’s body was hidden in exchange for an agreement that he would not get the death penalty.  Police say he delivered, and the 5-year-old’s remains were found just half a block away from her home behind a shed.

Alexander William Whipple has been charged with aggravated murder.