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Shaun French officially charged with murder in the death of 15-year-old girl

Official charges were filed Friday in Third District Court against Shaun French, 24, who is suspected of murdering 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw. (Photo: SLCPD)

(KUTV) -- Official charges were filed Friday in Third District Court against Shaun French, 24, who is suspected of murdering 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday after confessing to the murder. He now faces felony counts criminal homicide, aggravated burglary, obstruction of justice and sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to the probable cause statement, Bagshaw was murdered in her Salt Lake City home on May 7 while speaking to her mother on the phone.

A neighbor went to check on Bagshaw and saw blood inside the home and called the police, the PC statement said.

Responding officers found Bagshaw's body on the kitchen floor. French was suspected in Bagshaw's death because he was a former resident in the home between January 2017 and July 2017, and he allegedly had a prior relationship with the teen.

Bagshaw's mother disclosed to police that her daughter had confided in her, May 2, about previously having a sexual relationship with French that began when she was 14 years old, the PC statement said.

The court documents also detail threats from French to Bagshaw that he would send her mother nude photographs and post the photographs on social media.

Bagshaw's mother told police that during the last phone call with her daughter that French repeated called - 13 times that day - and that she did receive sexually explicit photographs of her daughter via a social media account.

She also told police that she and her daughter had discussed reporting French to police and were attempting to get a restraining order against him.

Officers reached out to French's brother during their investigation following Bagshaw's. French's brother told police that Shaun was depressed and had indicated that he wanted to cut his own throat and was going to be charged with rape for sleeping with a minor.

He added that French was obsessed with the teen and professed his desire to marry her, court documents stated.

French's brother contacted police May 9, after he said Shaun called him from Colorado admitting he had "cut a girl's throat," the PC statement said.

Later that day, French was apprehended in Colorado in the company of a friend from Ohio. That friend told officers that French had recently driven to his home in Ohio and had plans to travel to South Caroline but diverted to Wyoming, then to Utah.

While in Utah, French left his friend at a park to contact his "ex-girlfriend"about her statutory rape accusations, court documents said. The friend later told police what French was wearing and that he had a black backpack with him.

When French returned, his friend said his hands and face were covered in blood and that he told him they both had to leave because he had "damn near cut her head off," while she was on the phone.

French's friend said they traveled to Evanston, Wyoming, where the bloody clothing and backpack were discarded in a gas station dumpster. It was in that gas station that French washed the blood off his face and hands, the PC statement said.

The two continued to Colorado where they were located by police on May 9. French was arrested at that time on a warrant for unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was then extradited back to Utah,

Officers were able to recover the discarded backpack from a landfill where the dumpsters contents are disposed. The backpack contained trash bearing the name of the gas station in Wyoming, blood stained clothing, a ski mask, duct tape, rubber gloves, latex gloves, and a knife.

The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner reported that Bagshaw died from severe lacerations to the front of her neck, a deep stab wound to the back of the neck, a stab wound to her left shoulder, a stab would to the center of her neck just above the clavicle, and lacerations to her fingers.

French is incarcerated in the Salt Lake County Jail on a no bail warrant arrest. A court hearing date for his initial appearance has yet to be set.

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