By Dave Andrusko
The story of Megan Huntsman is so awful we’ve not revisited the case of the Utah woman accused of killing six newborns over the space of ten years and stuffing their bodies into a garage “tucked away among old shoes and an artificial Christmas tree” since she was formally charged in April.
Charged with six counts of first-degree murder, the 39-year-old Huntsman has been held in Utah County Jail since April 13. Bail for Huntsman, who has not entered a plea, was set at $6 million.
We revisit this terrible story because I had missed a story last week that offered a possible motive.
Police had declined to publicly offer a possible motive, even though they had said it was discovered during their interviews with Huntsman.
Then, last week, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts told the Associated Press that Huntsman had been heavily into a meth addiction “when she strangled or suffocated the infants from 1996 to 2006.” According to the AP, Huntsman
“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.’”
It was Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, who found the first dead baby in April in a small white box covered with electrician’s tape. He was cleaning out the garage of the house he had shared at one point with Huntsman. Police secured a search warranted and found six more babies in individual boxes. (Authorities believe the seventh baby was stillborn.)
West “spent more than eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to meth charges,” the AP reported. “He was released to a halfway house in Salt Lake City in January.”
Back in April authorities conducted DNA tests to determine if he was the father of the babies. Last week results were released. West was the biological father.
DNA results also “showed that all seven babies were full term and that five were girls and two were boys,” the AP reported.
The investigation is described as “open.” West is not a suspect.
While a motive may have been discovered, there remain any number of obvious questions.
For example, how could Huntsman, a relatively slight woman, have seven pregnancies during this time span and no one, including West or her children know?
Huntsman is due back in court next week.