Megan Huntsman is suspected of killing seven newborn children, whose bodies were found at a home where Huntsman previously had lived.
Here’s what you need to know about the suspect:
1. She’s Charged With Six Counts of Murder
Pleasant Grove detective Dan Beckstrom: "I've never seen anything like this in my career."
— Jim Dalrymple II (@jimmycdii) April 14, 2014
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that police suspect Huntsman gave birth to the babies and then killed them shortly thereafter between 1996 and 2006. Her bail has been set at $6 million. When asked by the judge did she have anything to say about the amount, Huntsman replied, “That’s fine.” Only one of the babies is believed to have been stillborn.
2. 6 Babies Were Found in Cardboard Boxes
Police say Huntsman’s estranged husband, identified by the Associated Press as Darren West, found the bodies in cardboard boxes while looking through the garage for belongings. The man had just gotten out of prison. He is not implicated in the case. The horrific discoveries were made at 530 E. 200 North in Pleasant Grove, Utah (above).
3. The Medical Examiner’s Office is Testing the Babies’ DNA
— Christine McCarthy (@ReporterXtine) April 13, 2014
The office of the medical examiner is testing the babies’ DNA in an effort to confirm that Huntsman is their mother. The office is also investigating the babies’ cause of death. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that the woman’s estranged husband is suspected to be the father. A neighbor told Fox 13 in Utah how amazed she was that Huntsman had been able to hide her pregnancies from the community. Kathie Hawker said, “She always looked kind of slim, I mean, to have this many babies full term, it’s like… Where were they?” The neighbor added that Huntsman had a drug problem.
4. Huntsman Has Three Other Children
The AP reports that Huntsman has three daughters — two adults and one teenager. None of Huntsman’s former neighbors were aware that she had been pregnant over the past decade. On her Facebook page, Huntsman lists her daughters a Sawyer Emme West, 11, Jacee West, 16, and Darian West, 17. The three daughters lived at the home where the discoveries were made. Neighbors said that they didn’t know where Huntsman had moved to.
We are mourning this tragic loss of life and we are trying to stay strong and help each other through this awful event.
5. Darren West Had Served 8 Years in Prison
— Sandra Yi (@KSL_SandraYi) April 13, 2014
The AP reports that West pleaded guilty in 2005 to possessing chemicals intended to be used manufacturing methamphetamine. He was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2006, but was released earlier this year. Throughout his trials, West maintained his innocence. West’s sister, Sarah Wright, wrote to the court in 2006 and talked about what a good father he was to his three daughters.