LOGAN — Family, friends, and first responders gathered to remember Elizabeth J. Shelley during Tuesday afternoon’s funeral services. The 5-year-old girl, who most knew as Lizzy, was allegedly killed by her uncle early on the morning of May 25. Family and members of the community described her as a child who loved everyone, and everyone loved her.
The funeral followed two viewings and a candlelight vigil, as many who didn’t even know Lizzy before she went missing, gathered to support her family. Her body was wrapped in a rainbow colored blanket, inside a white casket with colorful butterflies on the outside and the words: “Live like Lizzy.”
Just before the services, Norman Black, Lizzy’s step-grandfather expressed the family’s appreciation for the community’s love.
“We appreciate all the effort and all that the community of Cache Valley, surrounding counties, and the people in the state of Utah and beyond, who have sent their love and their prayers on our Lizzy’s behalf,” expressed Black. “We are appreciative of all they have done for us.”
During the funeral, Jessica Whipple described her daughter as a sweet little angel. She reflected on how Lizzy always got excited seeing the moon and was a brave little girl, who wasn’t afraid to ride her bike down a steep hill nearby their home. She said nothing prepared her for the devastation of losing a child, but she’s been comforted by the memories of tucking the little girl in bed each night and telling her “I love you.”
Detrich Black, Whipple’s fiancé, helped raise Lizzy since she was an infant and shared memories of watching her grow up and take her first steps. He explained how she loved to go for rides in the family’s car and would often tell him how to drive. He said “I can still feel her hand in mine, I can still feel her weight in my arms and she will always be in our hearts.”
The service concluded as Whipple and Black, stood next to Lizzy’s casket and joined the Logan High School Crimson Colony, singing Hush-A-Bye Mountain. Black had explained that it was their daughter’s favorite song, they would sing to her before going to bed.
A procession led by Logan City Police officers and more than 400 bikers escorted the hearse as it transported Lizzy’s casket to the Logan City Cemetery. She was buried after a private ceremony in an area reserved for children.
Earlier, Norman Black said the family will miss Lizzy very much. He hoped her memory will live on in the community.
“If you’re out and about and you find yourself admiring nature around you, think of Lizzy,” said Black. “As you’re out and about and you find yourself looking at a sunset or any of the beauty that is this earth that we live on, think of Lizzy and all the things she loved, rocks, flowers, sunsets, flowers and especially rainbows.”
Many of the officers who spent days searching for Lizzy attended the funeral, wearing rainbow colored ribbons. Logan City Police Capt. Curtis Hooley conducted the service and said Lizzy had touched the hearts of all of the searchers involved, and will never be forgotten. The funeral home was filled to capacity, with many people standing during the service.