Court documents say man accused of murdering Utah teen was ‘obsessed’ and wanted to marry her
SALT LAKE CITY — An indictment filed in court Friday sheds additional light on the death of a teenage girl who police say was murdered as she was on the phone with her mother.
Shaun French was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail earlier this week after police say he confessed to the murder of 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw. French was arrested in Colorado on May 9, two days after the killing.
Police say French was extradited to Utah and booked into jail after he confessed to murdering the teen.
French has been indicted on the following charges: criminal homicide, aggravated murder as a first-degree felony; aggravated burglary as a first-degree felony; obstructing justice as a second-degree felony; and sexual exploitation of a minor as a second-degree felony.
According to the indictment filed Friday, Baleigh’s mother told police her daughter had told her about French and his unwelcome attentions on May 2, five days prior to the murder.
The girl’s mother told police her daughter confided in her about a sexual relationship she had with French that began when she was 14 years old. The teen told her mother French was threatening to send nude photographs to her mother and post them on social media. She said call records showed French had called Baleigh 13 times that day, and as the pair were talking she said someone on social media sent her sexually explicit photos of her daughter.
The mother told police French had previously lived in her home but was kicked out in July of 2017 and told he was no longer welcome. She said after she spoke to Baleigh on May 2, the pair discussed contacting police and securing a restraining order against French.
Police located the people behind the social media account that had sent the explicit photos, and the pair involved told police they had created the account at French’s request and given him the password.
One of those associates told police French “was ‘obsessed’ with [Baleigh] and that he wanted to marry her.”
A relative of French’s told police after the crime that he was contacted by French on May 3, and at that time French told him he was depressed and was going to be charged with rape of a minor. On May 9, that relative contacted police to report that French had called him and admitted to cutting a girl’s throat and saying he was in Colorado.
Another man was with French when police arrested him, and that man said he and French were traveling to South Carolina but diverted to Utah because French said he wanted to “talk to his ex-girlfriend about her statutory rape accusation.”
The man told police the pair spent part of the days of May 6 and May 7 in a park in Salt Lake City, and he said when French came back on May 7 he was covered in blood and told him they had to leave because he had killed Baleigh.
The man “stated French said the girl was on the phone when he killed her and that he ‘damn near cut her head off'”.
Foster admitted to taking French out of state, first to Wyoming, and he later showed police the dumpster at a gas station where he said French disposed of his bloody clothing and a knife.
Police searched the associated landfill and recovered a backpack bearing the name of the gas station the source had identified. Police located clothing with apparent bloodstains inside the bag along with a balaclava, rubber and latex gloves, and a knife.
The indictment requested a no-bail warrant for French.