15-year-old Utah homicide victim was on the phone with mother when she was ‘brutally attacked,’ police say

(Courtesy Salt Lake City Police Department) Shaun French, 24, has been named a person of interest in the Monday, May 6, 2018, homicide of 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw at her Salt Lake City home. French may be driving a 1991 Daihatsu Rocky with a Wyoming license plate of 19-13974 (the picture above is the actual vehicle.)

The mother of a 15-year-old girl listened on the phone as her daughter was “brutally attacked” and killed at her home Monday afternoon, police said Tuesday.

Officers found the body of Baleigh Bagshaw just after 3 p.m. Monday in the house near 1650 West and 500 North, Sgt. Brandon Shearer said.

Bagshaw had arrived home from West High School and called her mother, something she routinely did when arriving, Shearer said. While on the phone with her, the teen’s mother heard her being “brutally attacked” in the home and then the phone went dead.

At that point, the mother called a neighbor to go check on Bagshaw. The neighbor called police as he went over to check on her, Shearer said, and police arrived soon after.

Police are searching for 24-year-old Shaun French, a person of interest in the case, who they believe may be traveling along Interstate 80 to Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois or Indiana while on his way to Cleveland, where he has contacts. French also has ties to the Ogden area.

According to a police news release, French is also a suspect in a previous unlawful sexual encounter with Bagshaw, and there is an active warrant for his arrest related to the sexual contact.

French, who wears glasses and has a beard, may be driving a camouflage-painted 1991 Daihatsu Rocky, with Wyoming license plate No. 19-13974. Police consider him armed and dangerous, though he is not considered a suspect at this time.

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,” Shearer said. The specifics of the alleged sexual relationship between French and Bagshaw has not been released.

As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made in the case, and police were continuing to gather evidence from the scene.

“It was a very violent attack,” Shearer added. “So there‘s quite a bit of evidence and it’s widely spread throughout the home and throughout the area.”

Shearer said it was not clear whether the attacker was waiting inside Bagshaw’s home or whether the person entered the home, but the actual attack happened inside.

Shearer declined to say what type of injuries Bagshaw suffered or what weapons — if any — were used in the attack.

Anyone with information on the case or French’s whereabouts is asked to call detectives at 801-799-3000.