Editor’s note: After the publication of this story, Shaun French was named a suspect in Baleigh Bagshaw’s killing and was arrested in Colorado.
Moments after answering a phone call from her 15-year-old daughter, a Utah woman listened in horror as the girl was brutally slain — and now, authorities are searching for a person of interest in her death.
Salt Lake City police have launched a multi-state manhunt for 24-year-old Shaun French in connection with the killing of Baleigh Bagshaw.
According to police, Baleigh called her mother Monday at around 3 p.m., just after arriving home from school. It was something the girl did every day, Sgt. Brandon Shearer of the Salt Lake Police Department told reporters at a press briefing.
While on the phone with Baleigh, the teen’s mother heard the teen being “brutally attacked” in their home, said Shearer. Eventually, the call was lost, police said.
The mother called a neighbor who called 911. Police arrived at the Bagshaw residence to find Baleigh’s lifeless body.
It has not been announced how Baleigh died, but Shearer told reporters, “It was a very violent attack.”
A warrant has since been issued for French’s arrest, alleging he’d had a previous unlawful sexual encounter with Baleigh.
While not an official suspect, French “definitely has a connection with Baleigh and the family, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for him to be in the area,” said Shearer.
As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made in the case, and police were continuing to gather evidence from the scene.
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Police ask the public to be on the lookout for French, believing he could be in Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, or Indiana. They suspect he is making his way to Cleveland, where he is said to have friends.
French wears glasses and has a beard.
He is probably driving a camouflage-painted 1991 Daihatsu Rocky with Wyoming license plate #19-13974.
French is armed and police say he should not be approached if spotted. Instead, 911 should be called.
Anyone who may have any information on the case or French’s whereabouts is asked to call (801) 799-3000.