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Crime News Breaking News

Man Allegedly Killed Teens, Dumped Bodies In Utah Mine Because Girlfriend Had Male Friends

He tied the teens up, stabbed them and shoved them down a mine shaft, police said.

By Jon Silman

He warned his girlfriend not to have any male friends.

Now, he's accused of murdering a teen couple that visited the house he shared with his girlfriend, and dumping the bodies down a Utah mine shaft.

Jerrod William Baum, 41, was arrested on March 28 and charged with kidnapping and murder after police discovered the bodies of 18-year-old Riley Powell and 17-year-old Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. 

The teens were reported missing January 2. A break came when police pulled over 34-year-old Morgan Henderson - Baum's girlfriend - for speeding. They'd previously talked to her about the disappearance, and she first told police the teens were in a drug deal gone bad with "the Mexicans." She later changed her story after Facebook conversations revealed the teens had been to her home, the Tribune reported.

Jerrod Baum

She then said the teens just smoked some weed and left, according to FOX 13

She was pulled over on March 25, and was taken into custody on drug and traffic charges, as well as for possessing a firearm.

Over the course of three days, she told investigators a different story. She said that after the teens left, Baum told her he "took care" of them. He said he felt bad for killing the girl, so he made her death quick and painless, but he made the boy suffer. 

She said Baum had asked her to come outside and showed her both teens bound in the back of a jeep. 

“He told her that he had previously instructed her not to have guy friends and that it was too bad because he has never killed an innocent before,” a probable cause statement said.

Baum allegedly drove Henderson and the teens to the mine, stabbed them both, and dumped them in a shaft, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Police found evidence of the crime discarded in a sludge barrel. 

When officers found the bodies, the teens still had their hands tied behind their backs. The bodies were lying on a ledge about 100 feet down the 1,800-foot-deep mine.

On Friday, Utah County authorities arrested Henderson, 34, on charges of obstructing justice in the case.

Baum’s criminal history began in 1991, on his 15th birthday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. He has been convicted for gun, drug, assault and theft offenses. He was convicted in 2005 for a firearms offense and was released in July 2016.

[Photo Credit: Utah County Sheriff's Office; Facebook]

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