A 15-year-old girl, Baleigh Bagshaw, was killed in her Salt Lake City home on Monday afternoon while talking on the phone with her mother, who heard screaming as her daughter was attacked.
“She was on the phone checking in with her mother after arriving home from school, when she was violently attacked,” Salt Lake City Police said on Tuesday.
Her mother called neighbors, who went to the house and contacted police shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday.
“It was a very violent and brutal attack that occurred here in the home,” Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer told reporters on Tuesday, calling it a “horrendous crime.”
Police have named Shaun French, 24, as a suspect in the homicide. He was found in Colorado on Wednesday and arrested on three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor based on an earlier encounter with Bagshaw, Shearer told reporters on Wednesday.
French previously had a sexual relationship with Bagshaw, Shearer said, and he previously lived with the family. Salt Lake police are working on extraditing him back to Utah.
A GoFundMe page to pay for Bagshaw’s funeral costs had raised more than $9,000 as of Wednesday night.
In interviews with the Deseret News, Bagshaw’s co-workers and classmates described her as a hard-working, “bubbly” person with “a great smile and a great attitude.”
“She was really sweet,” said Gwendolyn Robinson, who co-owns the store where Bagshaw worked. “She worked very hard. She was a good girl.”