Suspect in chloroform poisoning of 9-year-old Colorado girl dies after arrest

Jeffrey Beagley mugshot courtesy Grand Junction Police Department/KKCO.
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKTV) - There are details in this article that some people may find disturbing.

The man charged in the unsettling and disturbing death of a 9-year-old Colorado girl died Monday, authorities have confirmed.

Jeffrey Beagley, 34, was found unconscious in his jail cell Monday and died later that same day in a Grand Junction hospital. Autopsy results are still pending.

Arrest papers obtained by 11 News partner KKCO detail the slew of charges against Beagley. The relationship Beagley had with the child is not being made public. KKCO is reporting the court documents were unsealed on Wednesday.

Beagley was arrested on Dec. 13 and is facing charges of first-degree murder, reckless manslaughter, child abuse resulting in death, multiple counts of sexual exploitation of children, attempted sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust and four counts of invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.

The child victim was found dead in a Grand Junction home on Nov. 9 in the morning. The affidavit states Mesa County Coroner Dr. Dean Havlik ruled the death as a homicide and the cause of death would be "chloroform poisoning."

The arrest papers go on to state investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence along Hill Avenue where the girl was found. Authorities found a computer, thumb drive, sex toys as well as a bottle of chloroform with a rag in the shed behind the house.

Also inside the shed was a spray-painted tarp that formed a "tent of sorts," according to the affidavit. Under the tarp there were blankets and pillows on the ground. The area struck the investigator as odd as it was set up for "privacy/seclusion" as well as for watching and recording video.

The arrest papers add the detective felt the scene was much more "macabre" or disturbing than he originally realized. He found art that depicted death, noticed doll heads had been removed from their bodies in various places as apparent decorations. A "Witch's Bible" was in the area close to the bed where the victim had slept the night before and reportedly died. Overlooking the bed was a large "Easter bunny type mask that had been 'decorated' in such a way as to look like the ears had large bloody wounds in them and blood on its nose."

The home was dirty and in disarray with old food on the stove and writing on the walls in crayon. Consistent with child abuse and neglect cases, according to the investigator.

On the electronic devices found during the search, a technician for the Grand Junction Police Department found "a lot" of child porn. Some appeared to be from a hidden camera in a bathroom. The investigator recognized the bathroom as the same one in the residence on Hill Avenue where the girl was found dead.

Investigators also found 496 images and two videos of child pornography on a phone that authorities believe belongs to the suspect.

The arrest papers say the investigation revealed chloroform had been ordered on Nov. 1. The order listed the shipping address in part as "Jeffrey Beagley, Hill Avenue, Grand Junction CO 81501.

When police interviewed the suspect about the bottle of chloroform found in the shed, he claimed he saw an "antique bottle" in the shed at some point. When shown the order form for the chloroform indicated it was delivered on Nov. 8, the suspect stated he purchased the bottle. Saying the chloroform was for hemp production. The bottle arrived a day before the police found the girl dead.

The suspect also denied any sexual activity occurring in the shed. He also claimed his computer and cell phone were "hacked," denying having possessed child pornography.

KKCO says the circumstances around Beagley's death do not appear suspicious.