WEST VALLEY CITY — Police say a mother has confessed to killing her six babies over a 10-year period.
Megan Huntsman, 39, is in the Utah County Jail facing six potential murder charges.
On Monday, her bail was set at $6 million cash-only — $1 million for each child.
Pleasant Grove Police took Huntsman into custody overnight Saturday at a mobile home park in West Valley City near 3900 West and 4200 South.
Huntsman had been living at the residence with her boyfriend. He didn’t want to be identified but told FOX 13 the two had a three-year relationship.
He said Huntsman struggled with alcoholism and previous drug abuse but he had no idea there was an alleged darker past. The boyfriend told us he’s shaken up and trying to make sense of it, just like the next-door neighbor who trusted Huntsman.
“She was real nice. She babysat my kids. From my youngest son to my oldest at 10,” said West Valley City neighbor Josh Flowers.
Flowers said he never saw anything to indicate what his neighbor is accused of.
“I just don’t understand how someone could do something like that and be how they are around other peoples’ kids, like nothing even happened,” he said.
Huntsman moved into her West Valley home around 2011. Before that, she lived with her now estranged husband, Darren West, and their three daughters in a Pleasant Grove home.
West was recently released from prison after a drug conviction. While cleaning the garage Saturday, police say he discovered a cardboard box with the remains of a full-term baby inside. Police later found six additional corpses and arrested Huntsman.
She reportedly confessed.
According to a probable cause statement, “between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies at the Pleasant Grove residence, and that all the babies, but one, were born alive, and that she either strangled or suffocated the babies immediately after they were born.”
“It’s shock,” said Pleasant Grove neighbor Sandee Wall. “I was just thinking the past couple of days about this and there’s been times she had put on weight and I thought, ‘is she pregnant,’ but of course that`s something you never ask a woman.”
A reporter asked Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman, “Any chance these children are her children’s children?”
“We don’t have any evidence of that yet,” Buhman responded.
Megan Huntsman remains in jail on $6 million bail which she didn’t oppose.
Judge: any response?
Huntsman: that’s fine
Listen to the court proceedings here:
While Huntsman is the only suspect, “we aren’t closing the door to anything,” said Pleasant Grove Police Chief Michael Smith. “We just like anybody else have questions that we want answers for we want to know from certain people what they knew or what they didn’t know and how it was possible.”
A Pleasant Grove lieutenant told FOX 13 that investigators know what the motive is and don’t believe mental illness is a factor but they wouldn’t give details beyond that, only saying, expect more details in the coming days.
At this point, Megan Huntsman has not been mentally evaluated. In fact, she hasn’t been officially charged. Prosecutors have a week to file and are considering six murder charges. Huntsman is due back in court April 21.
Meanwhile, police believe Darren West is the babies’ father but the medical examiner will ultimately confirm if there are one or multiple fathers. The medical examiner’s office is also analyzing the gender of these infants and the exact manner of death.
Read full probable cause statement here: Megan-Huntsman-Probable-Cause-Statement