Utah Girl, 15, Murdered While On Phone With Mom, Manhunt Snags Suspect In Colorado

Baleigh Bagshaw [St. Lake City Police Dept]/Shaun French [Otero County Sheriff's Office]

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — After a two-day, multi-state manhunt, authorities arrested Shaun French, 24, for the “very violent” homicide of 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw last Monday. At the time, Bagshaw was talking on the phone with her mother, who heard the attack on her daughter happen.

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Sergeant Brandon Shearer of the Salt Lake City Police Department described the scenario, which sounds like every parent’s worst nightmare:

“While [Baleigh Bagshaw] was on the phone with her mother, she was brutally attacked while inside of her home. Her mother heard the attack going on and then the phone went dead.”

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Repsonding officers discovered Bagshaw’s body, and immediately named Shaun French as a person of interest.

Shearer said that French had previously resided in the home and that, beginning in 2017, he had been involved with Bagsahw in a reportedly consensual but entirely illegal sexual relationship. Bagshaw’s family members said they had witnessed sexual incidents between French and the teenager on three separate occasions.

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After discovering “quite a bit of evidence widely spread throughout the home and throughout the area,” French became an official suspect. Searchers located French on Wednesday in southeast Colorado.

Salt Lake City police issued an arrest warrant to Colorado authorities charging French with three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Shearer said that the warrant “increases the speed with which we can extradite him.”

Once back in Utah, French is expected to be charged in conjunction with Bagshaw’s death.

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Shearer added, “I can’t even guess what the mother would be going through right now. Our hearts and thoughts are with her.”

A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help Baleigh’s family pay for her funeral arrangements.

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Read more:
Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News
People
CBS News
KUTV

Main photos: Baleigh Bagshaw [St. Lake City Police Dept]/Shaun French [Otero County Sheriff’s Office]

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