LOGAN, Utah, May 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The town came together Monday night — friends, neighbors, parents — to share their concern and their support for the family of a little girl who hasn’t been seen since Saturday.
At a vigil in front of the courthouse in Logan, people lit candles and quietly expressed their hopes that Elizabeth Jessica Shelley will be found safe, their doubts of finding her alive, and their fears that this rural small town is dealing with “big city” problems more than anyone wants to believe.
Damion Jensen told Gephardt Daily that he and his wife attended the vigil to be supportive.
“My wife and I have children, too. We think about our own children and how vulnerable we actually are and how we feel after something like this happens.”
He’s referring to the disappearance of the 5-year-old from her Logan home on Saturday and the arrest later that day, for probation and parole violations, of her 21-year-old uncle, Alex Whipple, who had shown up at the house to spend the night and was gone before Elizabeth’s mom realized the child was missing. Officials say Whipple has been uncooperative and has given inconsistent answers when being questioned about the case.
“I think joining with others may be that we are holding onto hope,” Jensen said. “I think that’s why it’s salient in most people’s minds, because this doesn’t happen here.
“In other places, it might not even make the news, because these kinds of things in larger towns, they happen all the time.”
Speaking of scenic, rural Cache Valley and Logan’s small-town atmosphere, Jensen said, “I think that’s the kind of town this is — it’s a good town, so when something like this happens … we all kind of think maybe it’s not the place we thought it was.”
It’s a question many people are grappling with, but Jensen remains hopeful.
“You see these good people come together, and you see the community that’s there, that cares about each other.”