By Dave Andrusko
More details are coming in following the horrific discovery of the bodies of seven babies in a garage in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Megan Huntsman told police that “she either strangled or suffocated them immediately after they were born,” the Associated Press reported. “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 south of Salt Lake City.” Huntsman, 39, is charged with six counts of murder; she told authorities the seventh baby was stillborn.
Authorities are trying to find out why Huntsman killed the babies, as if there could be a “why.” She is being held on $6 million bail, $1 million for each baby.
Pleasant Grove police Lt. Britt Smith said that during the interview with police, Huntsman was “unemotional and matter of fact.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that she appeared Monday in 4th District Court. Michael McFall, Jim Dalrymple II, and Jessica Miller described the scene.
“Huntsman, wearing a worn blue jumpsuit with the sleeves rolled up to her shoulders, appeared tired during the hearing.
“As she stepped in front of the camera, she pressed her hand to her face, covering her eyes. Seconds later when prosecutors asked for a $6 million bail, Huntsman merely blinked and showed no perceptible emotion.
“’That’s fine,’ she told Judge Steven Hansen blankly when he asked her what she thought of the massive sum.
“Huntsman has been on suicide watch ever since she was booked into the jail, said Utah County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Darin Durfey.”
Huntsman’s former husband, Darren West, found the body of one baby last Saturday with fellow family members while cleaning out the garage of the house, which is owned by his parents. According to court documents, West called Huntsman, who admitted to him it was her baby.
When police arrived, they found the bodies of the other six babies, all apparently full term, stuffed individually into boxes.
Besides why Huntsman would murder six babies between 1996 and 2006, there are many other unanswered questions. For example, although West is currently not a suspect, Smith told reporters authorities believe he was living in the house during the time span the babies were killed.
(A later story from The International Business Times report that West is now denying that he was the father of the babies.)
Another question is how Huntsman’s three older daughters, ages 13 to 20, who still live in the house owned by West’s parents, could not have known their mother had been pregnant, or not see anything suspicious. Huntsman left in 2011, reportedly kicked out by her former in-laws.
“Neighbors said they noticed Huntsman’s weight fluctuated over the years, with her toggling between baggy and tight clothes, but they didn’t realize she was pregnant,” the Associated Press reported. “Smith declined to say if Huntsman gave birth to the babies in the home or at a hospital.”
Still another question stems from the fact that Huntman’s youngest daughter, now a teen, was born during the decade she told police she killed the babies. “Why was one of them saved?” neighbor SanDee Wall said.
Huntsman will be back in court April 21, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune
“Buhman explained the high, cash-only bail by saying that Huntsman is a ‘flight risk and because this is a heinous, horrible crime.’
Buhman added: ‘This is a little shocking because of the number of babies that were killed.’
“Pleasant Grove detective Dan Beckstrom said after the hearing: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my career.’”