Why Utah mum killed 6 babies

LAUREN RAAB
Last updated 13:31 09/07/2014
Megan Huntsman
JIM URQUHART/ Reuters

The former home of Megan Huntsman on Pleasant Grove in Utah, where seven babies were found dead and hidden in boxes.

Megan Huntsman
Reuters
COURT APPEARANCE: Megan Huntsman is scheduled to enter a plea on July 21, but that's contingent on a competence evaluation.
Megan Huntsman
IN CUSTODY: Megan Huntsman is accused of killing six babies.

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A Utah mum killed six of her babies because she couldn't raise the children while also supporting her drug and alcohol addictions, police said Tuesday.

The bodies of seven infants were discovered in a garage in Pleasant Grove, near Salt Lake City, in mid-April. Megan Huntsman was charged with six counts of first-degree murder that month.

Huntsman told police she had given birth to "at least seven babies" between 1996 and 2006, according to an affidavit. One was stillborn, and the rest were strangled or suffocated and then hidden in boxes in her garage.

She told police that during those years she was heavily addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol and had to make a choice, Pleasant Grove Police Captain Mike Roberts told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

"It was either the drugs and the alcohol or the babies - she couldn't afford both," he said.

The first body was discovered April 12 by Huntsman's estranged husband, Darren West, who was cleaning out the garage. He reported it to police, and they found the others.

Huntsman told West that she hid the stillborn baby because she was scared and didn't know what do, according to a court filing.

DNA tests from an FBI lab showed Huntsman was the mother and West the father of all seven children, Roberts said Tuesday. Five of the infants were female and two were male. All were full-term.

Huntsman has three daughters - one teenager and two young adults - who lived at the house. It is unclear how she was able to avoid questions from neighbours or the older children about her pregnancies.

Huntsman is scheduled to enter a plea July 21, but that is contingent on a competency evaluation, Roberts said.

-Los Angeles Times

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