Utah Woman Accused Of Killing 6 Babies Charged

Megan Huntsman, accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage, appears in court Monday, April 21, 2014, in Provo, Utah. A state judge granted county prosecutors a week to sort through evidence and ensure they choose the proper charges. Huntsman is being held on $6 million bail. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)
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Associated Press News Release
April 28, 2014

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Prosecutors have filed six first-degree murder charges against a Utah woman accused of killing six babies after giving birth to them, and keeping their bodies in boxes in her garage.

The charges were filed Monday morning shortly before 39-year-old Megan Huntsman appeared in court for the second time. She was informed of the charges during the brief hearing.

Prosecutors say Huntsman is the only suspect in the deaths of the babies. They say a seventh dead infant found in the garage appears to have been stillborn.

Investigators believe Huntsman's estranged husband, Darren West, is the babies' father, though they are awaiting DNA results to confirm that. West is not a suspect.

Huntsman is being held on $6 million bail.

Authorities say they think they know her motive, but they have declined to reveal it publicly.

CBS News Copy
April 18, 2014

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah - Megan Huntsman, the Utah woman accused of killing six infants she birthed between 1996 and 2006, is suspected of hiding the pregnancies not just of her dead children, but also those of two of her three living daughters, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Michael Roberts told the Deseret News. Roberts told the paper that Huntsman, 39, apparently gave birth to all her children in her house, and said the woman did not see a doctor at all during her ten known pregnancies.

"I was told she hid the first two. The family didn't know about it until the day she delivered," he reportedly told the paper.

Huntsman is reported to have had three daughters who were living with her, the two eldest around 18 to 20 years old, and the youngest around 13.

Huntsman was recently pregnant by her current boyfriend, but even he didn't find out about it until she reportedly had a miscarriage, the newspaper reports, citing neighbors.
Capt. Roberts told the paper he believes authorities have identified a motive in the bizarre case, but declined to elaborate. He said neither drugs, alcohol nor mental illness appear to be factors. However, Roberts said, nothing has been ruled out.

Huntsman was arrested Sunday after her estranged husband discovered one of the infant corpses in a cardboard box in the garage of their home this past weekend. The six other infants were later found in the same garage.

Police say Huntsman acknowledged to officers that she killed six of the babies over the decade between 1996 to 2006. She told police another baby was stillborn.

Roberts told the Deseret News that, based on interviews with Huntsman, investigators believe she is the mother of all seven babies and her estranged husband is the father, even though he told police he had no knowledge of the pregnancies despite the fact that they were living together.

DNA tests will reportedly be conducted by the FBI to determine the father and mother of each infant.

The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office had already completed autopsies on the babies. Roberts reportedly says he believes the medical examiner's office will compile autopsy reports and meet with police and Utah County prosecutors on Monday to review the case for criminal charges. He told the Deseret News that he did not immediately have any of the autopsy results.

Huntsman is being held on $6 million bond.

CBS News Copy
April 14, 2014

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah - Police arrested a 39-year-old woman Sunday after the bodies of seven infants were found in a home where she used to live.

Megan Huntsman was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of six counts of murder, CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reported.

Hunstman's ex-husband alerted police after finding the body of an infant inside a Pleasant Grove home where the woman had lived until 2011, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Pleasant Grove is located about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Police went to the home and found the body of a newborn who appeared to have been full-term. Executing a search warrant, they then discovered the bodies of six additional infants, KUTV reported.

The six tiny bodies were found in separate cardboard boxes inside the garage, police Capt. Michael Roberts told the Tribune.

Police believe that over a 10-year period, from 1996 to 2006, Huntsman gave birth to the infants and then killed them.

Her ex-husband is believed to be the father but investigators are still working on DNA tests, Roberts said.

Police are not pursuing charges against the ex-husband at this point, Roberts said.

The ranch-style home, which is split into two apartments, is owned by the ex-husband's parents, the Tribune said.
Longtime neighbor Sharon Chipman told the newspaper Huntman's three daughters still live in the house. She said the two eldest daughters are around 18 to 20 years old, while the youngest is about 13.

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