LOGAN, Utah — The Cache County Attorney’s Office has filed two additional charges against Alex Whipple, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering his niece, 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley, last month.
Whipple now faces charges of rape and sodomy upon a child, both first-degree felonies.
Police said Elizabeth was last seen at a home in western Logan at 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, and she was reported missing eight hours later.
Elizabeth’s uncle, 21-year-old Alex Whipple, had arrived at the home Friday evening. He and Elizabeth were both gone by 9 a.m. Saturday.
Cache County deputies located Whipple around 3 p.m. Saturday and took him into custody for a probation violation and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On May 29, Alex Whipple was charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and obstruction of justice in connection with Elizabeth’s disappearance and death. On that day, Whipple gave his attorney information about the location of Elizabeth’s body in exchange for the removal of capital punishment as an option for his potential punishment.
Police recovered Elizabeth’s body from the location Whipple indicated on May 29 and confirmed the body was hers on May 30. She was laid to rest on June 4.
Watch FOX 13 for updates.
CHICAGO — A Lyft driver is accused of sexually assaulting a passenger at two separate stops in the Chicago suburbs on the same trip last week, according to WGN.
Alexander Sowa, 34, is charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual assault.
Police allege Sowa picked up a woman who requested a ride using the Lyft ride-sharing app about 6:45 a.m. Thursday. She wanted to go from suburban Elk Grove to Des Plaines.
Sowa drove the passenger, who had been drinking, to a parking lot near Busse Road and Oakton Avenue in Elk Grove, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
Sowa then drove around before taking the woman to a parking garage in the first block of South Emerson Street in Mount Prospect, where he sexually assaulted her again, according to authorities. Police said the woman was able to escape and find someone to call 911.
Lyft released the following statement: “Safety is our top priority. The behavior described is deeply disturbing and absolutely unacceptable. Immediately upon becoming aware of the allegations we permanently banned the driver from the Lyft community and reached out to the passenger to express our support. We have been in touch with law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation.”
Detectives from Mount Prospect and Elk Grove investigated the case.
Sowa, was arrested Thursday. Bond was set at $10,000 at a weekend hearing. He will next appear in court Tuesday.
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Police have tested hundreds of backlogged rape kits, and one out of every four cases from the kits is now under investigation.
Chief Mike Brown will report to the Salt Lake City Council Tuesday afternoon regarding the results.
A press release indicates the department had custody of 768 rape kits in a 10-year period. Those were submitted and processed, resulting in 105 offender DNA matches from the National Crime Combined DNA database.
Police state 42 of those suspects had not previously been identified by law enforcement.
The testing of backlogged kits is the result of an ongoing effort after an ordnance passed in 2014, which specified that all rape kits in Salt Lake City had to be tested for DNA at a level eligible for the national database.
The council has also since endorsed a policy that calls for yearly reports on the kits.
“Bringing justice to these cases, and some peace of mind to the survivors and the community, was our primary goal in this effort,” said Council Chair Charlie Luke. “We are pleased Salt Lake City police have helped lead the way nationwide in improving the way these difficult cases are handled.”
The report before the council is planned for 2 p.m. Tuesday. Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.
TACOMA — A 44-year-old is woman is accused of raping an 11-year-old boy who was on her son’s Washington state lacrosse team, according to KCPQ.
Su Hyon Dillon is charged with four counts of first-degree child rape after allegedly admitting to having sex with the boy. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court.
According to the charging documents:
Police received a call from the victim’s mother in early April. She told police her son had been “acting out” for the past couple of years and was sent to live with his father in Virginia.
While in Virginia, the victim told his mother that he had sex with the mom of one of his teammates on a Pierce County lacrosse team, the documents say. They had sex a few times, he said, between 2014 and 2015.
The boy told investigators that Dillon first kissed him when he was 10 years old during a team event. The suspect was considered the “team mom.”
The victim said after kissing, he was staying at Dillon’s house when she approached him during the night. The suspect allegedly laid next to the boy and they had sex.
Dillon is accused of having sex with the boy multiple times, including during a team lacrosse trip to San Diego. The victim said Dillon often walked around her house in her underpants, and also gave him $200 for his birthday.
Police interviewed Dillon, who allegedly first denied having sex with the boy, but eventually admitted to it, saying she was having trouble in her marriage. She said she wanted to end the relationship but “liked the attention.”
Dillon denied having sexual contact with any other boys.
She was released on her own recognizance and ordered not to have contact with any children Wednesday.
NEW YORK — Police arrested a 60-year-old man Wednesday and charged him with repeatedly raping a girl at a Bronx day care.
A 13-year-old girl came forward and said Alberto Hernandez raped her multiple times when she was between the ages of six and 10, an NYPD spokeswoman said. The alleged rapes happened at Maria Cortez Day Care, which Hernandez has owned and operated with his wife for the last 25 years.
The girl told a school staff member about the incident earlier this week, which was then reported to police, authorities said.
Hernandez, whose daycare is licensed, is now facing 13 charges.
Police said they hope any other potential victims will contact them.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Police in Kansas are investigating what led to a 2-year-old girl testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease after evidence of rape was discovered, according to WDAF.
Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler said on Twitter the toddler and her siblings had been left at home with a family friend. The next day, the girl’s mother noticed evidence of sexual assault.
She was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where she tested positive for an STD, KAKE reported.
No arrests have been made.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — A school bus driver in New York who admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl who was on his bus route has avoided jail and was sentenced to probation.
Piche pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in February and was sentenced on Thursday.
The judge noted Piche had no previous arrests and there was only one victim, according to the Watertown Daily Times.
“I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child,” the victim’s mother said in a statement.
“He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”
“He’ll be a felon for the rest of his life,” defense attorney Eric Swartz said. “He’s on the sex offender registry for a long time. Maybe not the rest of his life because of the level but this isn’t something that didn’t cause him pain and this isn’t something that didn’t have consequences.”
VINEYARD, Utah – A 22-year-old man has been arrested after being accused of raping a 20-year-old Vineyard woman early Thursday morning according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said the woman had become acquainted with the suspect, Christopher Stamper, at the Utah County car dealership where he worked as she was looking to make a purchase and Stamper used her phone number from a previous interaction to ask her out.
According to police, the two went for a ride in a Jeep before going to Stamper’s home in Vineyard where he took her to his room and locked the door before removing all of his clothing, except for his underwear.
Police said Stamper told the victim to remove her clothes but she told him no before Stamper forcibly removed her clothing, put her on his bed and sexually assaulted her.
According to the probable cause statement, the victim repeatedly told Stamper to stop but he refused.
Stamper was booked into the Utah County Jail on one first-degree felony count of rape and his bail was set at $20,000.