Jerrod Baum was infuriated when his girlfriend had a teenage couple in his home. He had told Morgan Henderson to never have male visitors over at their residence. He was in fact so upset with their presence in his home that he drove them out to the desert, seventy-five miles from Salt Lake City, Utah. He then proceeded to beat, assault, stab (at least once to the groin) and murder Riley Powell in front of his girlfriend, Brelynne Otteson. I can’t imagine the horror, helplessness, and torment that went through both of their minds.
But Baum was not done yet, after he stabbed Powell to death in front of his girlfriend. He then turned his attention to Otteson. He stepped behind her and casually slit her throat. He did all of this shortly after congratulating the teenage couple on getting ready to have a baby (which was not accurate). But the shear audacity of the comment bears a commitment to cruelty hard to comprehend.
With no regard to life and suffering, Baum tossed both bodies down a deep abandoned mine shaft to which their bodies remained for three months.
The couple’s bodies were only found after Jerrod Baum’s girlfriend, was interrogated involving a separate case and lead authorities to the bodies.
Baum is being charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, and the desecration of a body among other things. In a statement to his girlfriend, Baum claimed to have never killed an innocent before, which alludes to a past probably riddled with carnage. Baum is eligible for the death penalty.
Our hearts go out to the families of Riley Powell and Brelynne Otteson. May they find comfort and peace.