EVANSTON — Salt Lake City police are sifting through trash at the Uinta County Landfill today, searching for evidence in the murder of a 15-year-old Utah girl. Former Evanston resident Shaun French, 24, was arrested last week as a suspect in the homicide; he’s also been charged with having unlawful sexual acts with a minor.
Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Todd Mitchell told the Herald that his team of 21 officers are hoping to find the evidence they’re looking for today, but they’ll return Wednesday if needed. Local officials were able to point officers in the direction where they believe French could have discarded evidence. Mitchell said they’re searching for some very specific evidence but couldn’t say what that evidence is.
However, “It’s not like we’re looking for a dead body,” he said.
Mitchell said through their investigation, detectives determined French dropped off a load at he landfill just outside Evanston. He said that while he believes there is ample evidence in the case, the weight of the crime warranted the search at the landfill.
Police say Baleigh Bagshaw was brutally murdered in her Salt Lake City home just after she got home from school on Monday, May 7. The girl called her mother, who was still on the phone when the attack began, according to police.
French was initially named as a person of interest, but by last Wednesday police referred to him as a suspect. He was arrested later that afternoon after tips led to police to Colorado, where had had been stopped and taken into custody.
No formal charges have been filed yet in the murder case, but French remains in custody for alleged sexual encounters with Bagshaw.