SALT LAKE CITY — A man police now describe as a suspect in the death of 15-year-old girl was taken into custody in Colorado, police said.
Shaun Patrick French, 24, was apprehended peacefully about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer.
French was pulled over and arrested at a traffic stop on a highway near La Junta, Colorado (about 175 miles southeast of Denver), Otero County Undersheriff David Gaskill tweeted. Gaskill added Colorado Highway Patrol troopers and Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
“There were tips, as well as work from detectives, that led them to locate (French) in Colorado,” Shearer added.
French was previously named a person of interest in the death of Baleigh Bagshaw, whose body was found in her home Monday afternoon. However, evidence and interviews with people led police to name him as a suspect in the Bagshaw’s death, Shearer said.
Detectives were sent to Colorado Wednesday to interview French. He will remain in Colorado until he can be extradited back to Utah, Shearer added.
A warrant for French’s arrest was issued Tuesday after prosecutors in 3rd District Court charged him with three third-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in relation to previous contact with the teen. French also used to live at the home Bagshaw lived in.
Information and the initial warrant for French’s arrest were sealed, court records show. However, Shearer said officials learned of a sexual relationship between the two during the homicide investigation, which led to those charges.
Bagshaw’s body was found late Monday afternoon after police responded to a welfare check request at a home located at 1628 W. 500 North, according to Shearer. He did not disclose how Bagshaw died, but said she was “brutally attacked” inside her home.
Shearer said Bagshaw, who attended West High School, was on the phone with her mother after coming home from school when she was attacked. Her mother called a neighbor to check on Bagshaw and that neighbor called police.
The warrant for French’s arrest stated bail was to be set at $500,000 for the counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor.