Megan Huntsman, 39, admitted to killing six of her newborn babies, police in Pleasant Grove, Utah, said Monday.
Huntsman told police she either suffocated or strangled each of the babies immediately after they were born. She wrapped their bodies in a towel or a shirt, put them in plastic bags, and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home in Pleasant Grove, south of Salt Lake City.
Huntsman was arrested Sunday on six counts of murder and held on $6 million bail – $1 million for each baby. The remains of a seventh baby police found appears to have been stillborn, authorities said.
Huntsman’s ex-husband called police after finding one dead baby while cleaning out the garage of the home he once shared with Huntsman, who moved out in 2011. Police then found six more bodies in cardboard boxes. Authorities do not believe he was aware of the killings, and he is not a person of interest in the case.
Family and neighbors identified the ex-husband as Darren West, who has been in prison on drug-related charges.
Police Capt. Michael Roberts said officers responded to a call from West on Saturday about a dead infant, and then they found the six other bodies. Roberts said police believe West and Huntsman were together when the babies were born, and that West was living in the home with Huntsman during the ten years the killings took place.
“We don’t believe he had any knowledge of the situation,” Roberts said.
Huntsman is accused of killing her babies after giving birth to the children between 1996 and 2006, investigators said. Police have not yet commented on Huntsman’s motives behind the killings.
The discovery of the babies’ bodies led neighbors and authorities to question how Huntsman was able to conceal the seven pregnancies over a ten-year period.
“How can you have a baby and not have evidence and other people know?” asked neighbor SanDee Wall.
“You can’t plan when a baby is going to come. Just the thought of somebody putting a baby into a box is a heartbreaker,” Wall said.
Investigators believe Huntsman is the mother of all of the babies, based on what she has told them, but they have ordered DNA tests to make sure that is the case. Investigators do not know who the babies’ father is, and it could take weeks to get the results of the DNA testing, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said.
Huntsman’s three daughters, one teenager and two young adults, also lived in the house.
Huntsman is the prime suspect in the murders, but authorities have not ruled out other possible arrests as they continue to investigate.
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