Friends said 24-year-old accused of killing Utah girl was ‘obsessed’ with her

(Courtesy Salt Lake County jail) Shaun French

Newly filed court documents show the 24-year-old man accused of killing a Utah teenager had repeatedly called her in the days before her death and went to meet with her the day she died concerning accusations that he raped her.

In charging documents filed Friday in 3rd District Court, Shaun French reportedly admitted to a friend that he killed Baleigh Bagshaw at her home on May 7, saying he “damn near cut her head off.”

French stopped at Bagshaw’s Salt Lake City home, near 1600 West and 500 North, to talk to her about the rape allegations, a friend who was with him at the time told police. French reportedly left the friend at a park and went to Bagshaw’s house. When he came back, he had blood on his face and hands and said he’d cut the girl’s throat, according to the court documents.

(Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Police Department) 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw was a victim of homicide in her Rose Park-area home on Monday, May 7, 2018.

Bagshaw was on the phone with her mother when she died.

After Bagshaw’s death, French returned to his friend and reportedly said the two had to leave town, setting off on a multistate trek to flee police and dispose of evidence, according to court documents.

They first drove to Evanston, Wyo., where French reportedly dumped a backpack full of bloody clothing in a convenience store trash can.

Salt Lake City investigators searched the Uintah County landfill and found a backpack full of bloody clothing, a balaclava, duct tape, rubber gloves, latex gloves and a knife, according to court documents.

On May 2, five days before she was killed, Bagshaw told her mother that she’d had sex with French, beginning when she was 14. According to court documents, French called Bagshaw 13 times that day.

Soon after, the mother received sexually explicit photos of Bagshaw via a newly created social media account. At that point, the two discussed reporting French, who they believed was behind the account, to police and getting a restraining order.

According to another friend, French was “obsessed” with Bagshaw and said he wanted to marry her. That friend told investigators he had created the social media profile French used to message Bagshaw’s mother.

French had lived in Bagshaw’s home from January 2017 to July 2017. It’s unclear why he left, but Bagshaw’s mother told police he wasn’t welcome in the house after that, according to court documents.

They day after Bagshaw told her mom about French, he called his brother, saying he was going to be charged with rape and wanted to cut his own throat.

On May 9, French, who was in Colorado, called his brother again, this time reportedly admitting he “cut a girl’s throat,” according to court documents.

Police arrested French that day on charges filed May 8 in 3rd District Court related to his alleged sexual contact with Bagshaw.

French was charged Friday with four more crimes: first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary, and second-degree felony counts of obstruction of justice and sexual exploitation.