A Utah woman has been arrested and charged with murder after police discovered the bodies of seven babies. At least six of the babies were packed into separate cardboard boxes and stored in a home in Utah, police say. On Saturday, Megan Huntsman, 39, of Pleasant Grove, was arrested on six counts of murder. It is unclear why she has not been charged with the murder of the seventh infant. The home is a duplex split into two units which is reported to be owned by Huntsman’s ex-husband’s parents. A relative told reporters Huntsman is still legally married to her ex.
Residents claimed Hunstman moved out of the home in 2011, but neighbor, Sharon Chipman said that Huntsman still lives there with her three teenage daughters. Chipman told the Salt Lake Tribune that she hasn’t seen the daughters since the news broke. “A person at a residence here in (Pleasant Grove) had some family members assisting him in cleaning out his garage. They came across a suspicious package that had kind of a pungent odor. They started to open the package and realized that there was a deceased infant inside the box, called the police,” Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Michael Roberts told Deseret News.
Capt. Roberts told an ABC News’ reporter that police were granted a search warrant to investigate the home and they found the bodies of six more babies. Capt. Roberts explained that their investigation uncovered reason to believe that Hunstman was the mother of the six other babies. Police said that those babies would have been born over the course of a decade that spanned between 1996 and 2006. Police believe Huntsman delivered the babies then murdered them. Deseret News reported that the man who originally discovered the first of the seven babies is Huntsman’s ex. Police said he is not a suspect in the case.
“It is hard to express with words, the emotions surrounding our family at this time. Yesterday’s events have left us in a state of shock and confusion. We are mourning this tragic loss of life and we are trying to stay strong and help each other through this awful event,” the family wrote in a statement published by Deseret News.
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, police said Huntsman’s ex-husband is believed to be the babies’ father. Police are waiting on DNA tests, to say for certain if the murdered babies were fathered by her ex-husband and to confirm Huntsman as the mother. At this point, police are not charging Huntsman’s ex-husband with any crimes. The babies’ bodies are now at the medical examiners’s office to determine the exact causes of death.
Chipman, the neighbor, told the Salt Lake Tribune that she had noticed the woman accused of murdering her babies gain and lose weight over the years, but she thought nothing of it. The neighbor said she felt comfortable enough with the woman that she even allowed her to watch her young grandson over the years. Another neighbor, Aaron Hawker, said he also never realized the woman was pregnant during that time. In 2001, Utah created a Safe Haven law that allows biological mothers to anonymously give up custody of their children without persecution. Police are still investigating what they believe are the murders of the seven babies that were discovered this weekend.