Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Remains of seven babies found, Utah woman held

GRISLY DISCOVERY:The accused’s three daughters still live in the house where the babies were found, three years after the suspect moved out

AP, WASHINGTON

A US woman accused of killing seven babies she bore over a decade was arrested on Sunday after police discovered the tiny bodies stuffed in cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

Megan Huntsman, 39, who lived in the Utah home until three years ago, is believed to have had the infants between 1996 and 2006, US investigators said.

Officers responded to a call on Saturday from Huntsman’s estranged husband about a dead infant at the home, US police Captain Michael Roberts said.

Officers then discovered six other bodies.

Roberts declined to comment on a motive and what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

Neighbors in the middle-class neighborhood said they were shocked by the accusations and perplexed that the woman’s older children still living in the home did not know their mother had been pregnant or notice anything suspicious.

The police spokesman said the estranged husband lived with Huntsman when the babies were born, but is not a person of interest at this time. The man’s name was not immediately released.

“We don’t believe he had any knowledge of the situation,” Roberts told reporters.

Asked how the man could not have known, since he lived in the house at the time, Roberts replied, “That’s the million-dollar question. Amazing.”

The babies’ bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner’s office for tests, including one to determine the cause of death.

DNA samples taken from the suspect and her husband will determine whether the two are the parents, as investigators believe.

The house is owned by the husband’s parents, and the man was cleaning out the garage when he made the grisly discovery.

Huntsman’s three daughters still live there, longtime neighbor Sharon Chipman told the Salt Lake Tribune. The oldest is about 18 to 20 years old, while the youngest is about 13, she said.

Describing Huntsman as a great neighbor, Chipman said she trusted the neighbor to watch her grandson when he was a toddler.

“She took good care of him. She was good. This really shocks me,” Chipman told reporters.

Roberts said the case has been “emotionally draining” and upsetting to investigators. He was at the home when the bodies were discovered.

“My personal reaction? Just shocked. Couldn’t believe it. The other officers felt the same,” he said.

Huntsman was taken on Sunday into the Utah County Jail on six counts of murder. Roberts said it was not clear whether she has an attorney.

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