Megan Huntsman, a Utah mother of three, was arrested over the weekend after her estranged husband, recently released from prison, found the decomposed bodies of seven infant children in a garage. The 39-year-old mother was arrested on murder charges Sunday. All seven of the bodies were stuffed in cardboard boxes and found stored in the garage.
According to a report from The Associated Press, as carried by MSN News today, Huntsman gave birth to the children during a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006. The estranged husband, identified as Darren West, was cleaning out the garage Saturday when he came across the gruesome discovery. Utah Police Capt. Michael Roberts said officers responded to a call from West after he found the boxes.
Roberts said West had been recently released from prison on drug-related charges, but that he and Huntsman were living together at the time of the births. It’s unclear yet if West is the father of any or all of the infants, who all appeared to be newborns. Investigators do not believe that West was aware of any of the murders and as of yet, he is not considered a “person of interest.”
“We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation,” Roberts said. When asked how it was that he could not have known about the births and murders, Roberts replied: “That's the million-dollar question. Amazing.”
The Huffington Post reported that Huntsman also has three daughters — one teenager and two young adults — who lived at the house once shared by her and West. Huntsman herself had moved out years ago. Her current address was not provided.
Neighbor Vickie Nelson, who lives across the street from the Pleasant Grove home, said she was “shocked” at the discovery of the bodies. “It's shocking and kind of morbid and strange,” Nelson said. The mostly middle-class neighborhood is located 35 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Roberts called the investigation “emotionally draining” and “upsetting” to his police force. “My personal reaction? Just shocked. Couldn't believe it. The other officers felt the same,” Chief Roberts said, adding that he has never seen anything remotely like this in his nearly two-decade career. “[The detectives] got more and more shocked each box they opened,” Roberts said.
Reports NewsMax: “Fred Newman, a neighbor whose cousin is the husband's mother, said he's perplexed how the three oldest daughters living there didn't know about what police say was going on. He said the girls didn't always park their cars in the garage, but did sometimes in the cold winter months.”
“What's shocking is the three older ones living there and not noticing that their mother was pregnant,” Newman said.
All seven of the bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death. DNA samples were extracted from both Huntsman and West to determine if they are the biological parents of some or all of the infants. Huntsman is being held without bond. Police have not alluded to any motive yet in the killings.