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Police find bodies of seven babies in Utah home

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeCrime

Utah police have arrested a 39-year-old woman in connection with the discovery of seven infants' bodies in the garage of a home in a small community 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City.

Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Michael Roberts told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that investigators think Megan Huntsman gave birth to all of the infants between 1996 and 2006 and then killed them.

“We believe she birthed each baby and then killed it after it was born,” he said.

Police made the grisly finding Saturday morning in the town of 35,000 after the woman’s estranged husband, who was cleaning the garage prior to moving back into the home, found a dead infant and called authorities. Huntsman had moved out of the house in 2011 and was living nearby.

Police served a search warrant and found six more tiny bodies in cardboard boxes in the garage, Roberts said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s shocking.”

Huntsman was taken into custody and a search warrant was served at her present residence, Roberts said.

The husband is not a suspect in the case, Roberts said. Police think the man is the father of the children but they are conducting DNA tests to prove parentage. “He’s not a person of interest,” Roberts said. “He had just gotten out of prison after serving an 8- or 9-year-term.”

Huntsman was booked into jail on six counts of murder.

“We’re not sure how many charges yet,” Roberts said. “All of the bodies are in different states of decomposition. It’s just hard to tell right now. It’s going to take further work by the medical examiner.”

Huntsman is being held in the Utah County Jail and was expected to be arraigned on Monday or Tuesday, he said.

Roberts said that detectives continued to comb the two-story home on Sunday for more evidence. In all nearly two dozen officers had responded to the case.

Intended to save the lives of unwanted infants, a 13-year-old Safe Haven law in Utah allows biological parents to give up custody of a child without facing legal consequences.

A crisis worker at the group Save Haven said the agency had received several calls since Saturday from people asking how they can turn in unwanted infants.

john.glionna@latimes.com

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