Utah mother pleads guilty to murdering six of her babies

Megan Huntsman of Utah pleads guilty to murdering six of her babies. Their bodies were found in her garage

Megan Huntsman, a Utah woman accused of killing six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage, pleaded guilty to six counts of murder Thursday, the Utah County attorney confirmed.

In April, Huntsman’s estranged husband found one body while cleaning the garage of the Pleasant Grove home. Police soon found six others. Prosecutors said that one had been stillborn but that Huntsman had killed the rest.

According to court documents, the babies’ bodies had been wrapped in towels or sweaters and packed with plastic wrap in storage boxes, some of which had been sealed shut with electrical tape. The boxes rested against a garage wall. Police have said they think she had the babies in a 10-year period, from 1996 to 2006.

Huntsman, 39, told police she had strangled or suffocated the infants and lost count of how many, court documents said.

She is to be sentenced April 20. Each count carries a sentence of five years to life in prison, Utah County Atty. Jeff Buhman told the Los Angeles Times.

“Obviously this was a very heinous crime, something that we haven’t seen in Utah or Utah County before,” Buhman said. As to Huntsman’s motive, he said, “We know there was some drug use, probably a significant amount,” but “there really isn’t a good explanation.”

Huntsman has three living daughters. Her husband, Darren West, had been away in federal prison on a methamphetamine-related conviction from 2006 to 2014; he found the first body not long after his release. 

Times staff writer Paresh Dave contributed to this report.

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

11:37 a.m.: This post has been updated with additional background information.

10:23 a.m.: This post has been updated with comments from Utah County Atty. Jeff Buhman.

The first version of this post was published at 10:07 a.m.

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