Megan Huntsman arrested after bodies of seven babies are found in Utah house
Officers responded to a call on Saturday from Huntsman's estranged husband about a dead infant at the home. Officers then discovered the six other bodies
A Utah woman has been arrested on suspicion of killing six babies after police found seven tiny bodies stuffed in cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.
Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies over a decade between 1996 and 2006, investigators said.
She had lived in the home in Pleasant Grove, where the grim discovery was made, until three years ago.
Police were called to the house on Saturday after they received a call from Huntsman's estranged husband about a dead infant at the home. Upon arrival they discovered six other bodies - one of the babies was believed to be stillborn, police said.
Police captain Michael Roberts declined to comment on a motive and what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.
Neighbours in the middle-class neighbourhood expressed their shock at the accusations and were perplexed that the woman's older children, who are still living at home, did not know their mother was pregnant or notice anything suspicious.
Officers said they believe Huntsman and her estranged husband were together when the babies were born, but that he is not a person of interest at this time.
"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," Capt Roberts said.
Asked how the man could not have known, he replied: "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."
The babies' bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner's office for test, including one to determine the cause of death. DNA samples were also taken from the suspect and her estranged husband and will be used to determine whether the two are parents, as investigators believe.
Huntsman was booked into Utah County Jail on six counts of murder.
The house is owned by the husband's parents and the man was cleaning out the garage when he uncovered the bodies.
Family and neighbours identified the estranged husband as Darren West, a convicted criminal who has been in prison.
His family released a statement saying it was in a "state of shock and confusion" and was 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 live in the home, long-time neighbour Sharon Chipman told The Salt Lake Tribune. The oldest were about 18 to 20 years old, while the youngest was about 13, she said.
Huntsman was a great neighbour and Ms Chipman trusted her to watch her grandson when he was a toddler, she added.
"She took good care of him. She was good. This really shocks me," Ms Chipman told The Tribune.
Capt Roberts said the case had been "emotionally draining" and upsetting to investigators. He was at the home when the bodies were discovered.
"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."
Additional reporting by Press Association
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...