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Police give motive in dead baby case

By Brady McCombs

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah mother told authorities that she killed six of her newborns and stored their bodies in a garage because she was addicted to drugs and didn't want to deal with the responsibility of raising them, police said Tuesday, revealing a suspected motive for the first time.

Megan Huntsman, 39, was heavily into a meth addiction when she strangled or suffocated the infants from 1996 to 2006, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts told The Associated Press.

She wasn't worried about potential health problems caused by her drug abuse while pregnant, she simply didn't want to care for them, he said. "It was completely selfish. She was high on drugs and didn't want the babies, or the responsibility," Roberts said. "That was her priority at the time."

Authorities think a seventh baby found in her Pleasant Grove garage after an April search was stillborn.

Police had previously declined to discuss a motive in the case, saying only that it had been uncovered during interviews with Huntsman.

Huntsman has been held in Utah County Jail since April 13, and her bail has been set at $6 million. She has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and is due in court in Provo on July 21. She has not yet entered a plea.

Her lawyer, public defender Anthony Howell, declined comment Tuesday, saying office policy prevents him from discussing open cases.

Huntsman's estranged husband, Darren West, spent more than eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to meth charges. He was released to a halfway house in Salt Lake City in January.

West made the grisly discovery April 12 while cleaning out the garage of the home he had shared with Huntsman. He told police he found a dead infant in a small white box covered with electrician's tape.

Six other bodies were found after police obtained a search warrant. Documents show the newborns had been wrapped in shirts or towels inside individual boxes in the garage.

West lived with Huntsman during the decade their children were killed before going to federal prison in 2006, but he isn't a suspect in the deaths, Roberts said. Investigators don't know how he could have been oblivious to the pregnancies or deaths, but they don't plan to bring him in for further questioning.

Huntsman remains the only suspect in the investigation, which remains open, Roberts said. Results of a psychological examination of Huntsman haven't been disclosed.

DNA results revealed Tuesday showed that all seven babies were full term and that five were girls and two were boys. Those tests also confirmed that West was biological father of the infants.

Previous tests from the Utah state lab found that the babies were likely dead anywhere from two to 10 years or more, Roberts said.

The day of the grisly discovery, Huntsman told police that were eight or nine dead babies in her home, a previously released search warrant affidavit showed. But Roberts said Huntsman was confused and was taking a ballpark guess. Roberts said Tuesday investigators continue to believe there were only seven.

Join the discussion

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Donita Blaylock July 09 2014 at 12:42 PM

Well I don't realy want to take care of her in jail with my tax payer money. So why don't we just suffocate her and have her buried in the back yard.

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14 replies
rrllort July 09 2014 at 12:27 PM

Why is this person still alive, she should be euthanized today.

Flag Reply +45 rate up
2 replies
Dan rrllort July 09 2014 at 1:33 PM

Or neutered at the very least & never allowed near children!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
men0nstrike rrllort July 09 2014 at 2:17 PM

You just don't realize that this woman is the real victim here. Women are always the victims as the feminists keep reminding us constantly. She is the victim because evil men kept getting her pregnant and she was only taking care of herself by getting rid of all those whiny, demanding babies. She doesn't deserve punishment, she deserves a bigger welfare check and public housing, and that is probably what she will get.

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billcdaly July 09 2014 at 12:47 PM

She killed 6 babies and possibly 7, just because she didn't want to take care of them - wow.
Deserves death penalty.

Flag Reply +44 rate up
3 replies
reformtxcs July 09 2014 at 12:28 PM

She could afford meth but not birth control? Makes you wonder which one is cheaper and easier to come by? No worries I guess, we just opened the borders to hundreds of thousands of illegal children. Somebody is keeping their kids alive even if they have to invade another country to do it.

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8 replies
liemc July 09 2014 at 1:01 PM

She was capable of maintaining a meth habit but not capable of taking birth control pills? Death penalty for this piece of crap.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
4 replies
luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 1:05 PM

this woman is nothing but a soulless monster..she should be fixed..just like all rapists should be castrated..she is nothing but a waste of air and should be put to death..who is with me in that she will prob get off with "mentally incompetent"??? they need to put her to death..she has no rights..and that idiot husband of hers..needs to be fixed also..how can u not wonder..if she was pregnant..what happened to the babies..

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2 replies
pennylaneprims luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 3:39 PM

I'm sure he knew, just didn't care so played dumb. Why should he not be punished also?

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1 reply
schlauger1 pennylaneprims July 09 2014 at 4:24 PM

She is stick-thin. How could he not know of multiple pregnancies brought to full term? He is not a suspect? There has to be more that the authorities know that isn't being released. And gee, the killings stopped when he went to prison, or did she get pregnant more times by different men and kept up her carnage, putting the little cadavers elsewhere?

Flag +2 rate up
erinjanespca luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 4:23 PM

Mentally incompetent because of the meth.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
paulson545 July 09 2014 at 1:17 PM

Maybe she'll get the same brain dead jury that Casey Anthony had.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
3 replies
Bluedane July 09 2014 at 12:27 PM

Hang her!

Flag Reply +17 rate up
1 reply
CPA11973 Bluedane July 09 2014 at 1:17 PM

too good for her. even if she gets the death penalty, she'll spend a decade or more on death row before they off her.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
CAMERON CPA11973 July 09 2014 at 1:30 PM


Flag +1 rate up
whitepaz19 CPA11973 July 09 2014 at 3:25 PM

AND we're paying for it!

Flag 0 rate up
thorrsman July 09 2014 at 12:25 PM

This "news" is not news, it is merely confirmation of what most people suspected all along.

Some of us live in a harsh real world and understand that there are animals wearing a human disguise.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
9 replies
luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 1:05 PM

its obvious that their drugs meant more to them than these precious lives...

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
Joy luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 1:42 PM

I doubt anything meant more to her than the drugs.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
brachm5 Joy July 09 2014 at 4:36 PM

obviously getting laid!

Flag 0 rate up
Nancy luvlyangel51 July 09 2014 at 5:15 PM

"It's obvious"? The motive was stated in the first sentence. Duh.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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