Mother 'killed 7 babies and hid their bodies in garage' in Utah, US
Woman is charged after police find dead infants in cardboard boxes at her home in Utah
A woman accused of killing six babies that she gave birth to over 10 years told investigators that she either strangled or suffocated the children and then put them inside boxes in her garage.
According to a statement released by police yesterday, Megan Huntsman said that between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies at her home and all but one were born alive.
She said she killed them immediately after they were born, and put their bodies inside boxes. The statement said each baby was wrapped in either a towel or a shirt, and placed in a plastic bag.
Huntsman was being held on US$6 million bail - US$1 million for each baby she was accused of killing.
The deaths came to light on Saturday when officers responded to a call from Huntsman's estranged husband about a dead child at the home, police Captain Michael Roberts said. Officers then found the six other bodies.
Police were puzzled about how the woman's older children - who were still living in the home - did not know their mother was pregnant or notice anything suspicious. Police believe the estranged husband and Huntsman were together when the babies were born. But Roberts added: "We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation."
Asked how the man could not have known, Roberts replied: "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."
The babies' bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner's office for tests, including one to determine the cause of death.
DNA samples taken from the suspect and her husband will determine whether the two are the parents, as investigators believe.
Huntsman was booked into the Utah county jail on Sunday on six counts of murder.
Huntsman's estranged husband was cleaning out the garage when he made the discovery.
Family and neighbours identified him as Darren West. West's family said they were in a "state of shock and confusion" and mourning "this tragic loss of life".
Court records show West pleaded guilty in federal court in 2005 to two counts of possessing chemicals intended to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine. In 2006, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. It is unclear when he was released.
Huntsman's three daughters still lived in the home, long-time neighbour Sharon Chipman told
The Salt Lake Tribune.
The oldest were around 18 to 20 years old, while the youngest was about 13, she said.
Roberts said the case had been upsetting to investigators.
"My personal reaction? Just shocked. Couldn't believe it. The other officers felt the same," he said. "They got more and more shocked each box they opened," Roberts said.