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Police say they know why Utah mom hid bodies of 7 babies in garage

Police on Megan Huntsman: 'It was either the drugs and the alcohol or the babies -- she couldn't afford both'

A Utah woman 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 Capt. 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 neighbors 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.

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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