By Dave Andrusko
Although it’s been well over a week since the little bodies were first discovered and three days since Megan Huntsman appeared in Provo Fourth District Court, little, if anything, more is known that would explain why she killed six newborn babies over a ten year period.
Appearing Monday before Judge Claudia Laycock, Huntsman was appointed a public defender who told the court that prosecutors did not need two more weeks to gather evidence. Laycock agreed. As a result Huntsman, 39, will be back in court April 28. She is being held at the Utah County jail in lieu of $6 million bail.
Huntsman was arrested April 12. She told police “she either strangled or suffocated the [six babies] 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.”
The ghastly murderers came to light when her estranged husband, Darren West, came back to the house, owned by his parents, a week ago last Saturday to clean out the garage where Huntsman’s three older children live. He found the remains of one baby.
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 cardboard boxes. Huntsman later admitted to killing six of the children, saying the seventh baby was stillborn.
Pending the results of DNA tests, it’s still unanswered whether all the babies were Huntsman’s and/or whether any or all the children were fathered by West, as authorities suspect. West was in the home during the 1996-2006 period Huntsman said she killed the babies, but told police that he was not aware of any of the pregnancies.
Police have said that West is not a “person of interest.” However, the Associated Press reported that after telling police he knew nothing about Huntman’s pregnancies, “he has since obtained an attorney and investigators haven’t spoken with him again,” according to Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Michael Roberts. “They are trying to determine his knowledge or involvement.”
Roberts told the Deseret News that 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.”
As it turns out, Huntsman apparently may have hid the pregnancies of two of her living children, according to CBS News. “Huntsman has a 13-year-old daughter, and two adult daughters as well living in the home where the infants were found. The eldest girls are thought to be 18 to 20 years old. Roberts said Huntsman never saw a doctor during any of her 10 pregnancies.”
Adding still another layer of mystery to Huntsman’s motives is that Huntman’s youngest daughter was born during the decade Huntsman told police she killed the babies.
Huntsman has not been formally charged with the murders.