Police: Utah woman gave birth to, killed 6 infants in 10-year span

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PLEASANT GROVE -- A 39-year-old woman was arrested Saturday after seven bodies of dead infants were discovered in a Pleasant Grove home, and officials said they believe that, over a 10-year period, she gave birth to six of the children then killed them.

Pleasant Grove Police responded to the home at 530 E. 200 North after residents who were cleaning out a garage found what they believed to be a dead infant in a container.

Capt. Michael Roberts, Pleasant Grove PD, said the residents found "a suspicious package with a pungent smell, and they opened the package partially and found what they believed to be a deceased infant in the box and they called police."

When they arrived, police found the infant to be at full term, according to a press release from the Pleasant Grove Police Department.

Roberts said a search warrant was obtained and "subsequently six more bodies of infants were found in separate containers, cardboard boxes."

According to the press release, "During the course of the investigation information was obtained that; over a 10 year period a 39 year old female gave birth to the infants and then killed them."

According to a probable cause statement released Monday morning, Huntsman admitted to strangling or suffocating the babies immediately after they were born.

Click here to read the probable cause statement. [PDF, 135 KB]

Megan Huntsman was booked into the Utah County Jail and faces six counts of murder. Police officials later told FOX 13 News that there are six charges because investigators believe one of the seven was a stillborn child.

On Monday morning, a judge set Huntsman's bail at $1 million for each count of murder, for a total of $6 million.

FOX 13 News' Carly Figueroa spoke with neighbors and officials, see the video above for those interviews.

Huntsman had not lived in the home since 2011. Police said Huntsman had shared the home with her husband, a Mr. West, and they had lived there for some time. The man served nine years in federal prison on drug distribution related charges. Police told FOX 13 News the couple was estranged.

The home has two separate residences. The bodies were found in the upper residence with its attached garage, and that residence had not been lived in since 2011 when Huntsman left.

Police said Huntsman told them West was the father of the infants, and police said they believe her. They said they believe the infants were born and killed between 1996 and 2006 while West was not imprisoned. Police said West is not considered a suspect in the infants' death.

West was among those who found the first infant, and Roberts said, "there's a strong possibility," the man opened the box to find his own child dead inside.

Police said the home was owned by West's parents, who had overseen the home during the time Huntsman lived there while West was in prison.

West returned Saturday, which is when he started to clear out the home. That is when he and those helping him found a box that smelled bad and appeared to contain a dead infant.

Police said during the time Megan Huntsman was living at the home she was there with three children of hers and West's. Those children are now 13, 18 and 20.

Neighbor Kathie Hawker said Huntsman had moved out of the home after what they called a struggle with substance abuse.

"Yeah, we were worried about her because we could see that she was not looking in good health, and we were worried about the children that lived there with her, her three daughters lived there," Hawker said.

Kathie's husband, Aaron Hawker, said it is shocking to learn Huntsman was allegedly pregnant so many times.

He said: "She always looked kind of slim, I mean, to have this many babies full term, it's like... Where were they?"

Police said several warrants have been issued in the case, including a search warrant for Huntsman's West Valley City home.

A law was passed in Utah in 2001 that allows people who have a child but aren't prepared to care for it to drop the child off with no questions asked and no liability. See the the video below for details on the Safe Haven law.


  • pam

    whatever happend to condoms birth control? if u dont wont a baby use something to keep from geting pregnant!!!

  • Di

    i wonder if all the babies that were killed, were male. why did she keep the three girls that she has been raising? just trying to understand the motive of such a horrific act.

    • scotty62

      Matt: 7:1-2
      Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

  • Katester

    My comment is…perhaps the stillborn baby was born first. The traumatizing things this can do to a brain can be overwhelming. Obviously (although NOT an excuse) perhaps her mental status from having to live through giving birth to a deceased baby….the horrible painful toll it took on her may have driven her mind into this. Still…Each person is responsible for their own actions and I agree she should be held to the fullest extent of the law there.

  • J W

    I hope she receives the death penalty! There is no reason on Gods green earth, that she should live. Religious or otherwise…that’s my opinion anyway.

  • brixlee

    this is just messed up! in my opinion she should be hung by a tree! this is not right i dont care who you are you should not do that i dont care what reason you think is a “good” reason. there isnt a good reason on god green earth for somthing like this!

    • ladagosta

      horrible indeed, and just think how damaged the surviving girls will be after finding out that their mother killed their siblings..this was hot a selfless act this was a narcissistic self serving act if she indeed killed her own flesh and , blood. she deserves no mercy as she showed no mercy for those little defenseless lives. I tend to lean towards God will judge, but this time. the repeated disregard for human life taking away the lives of so many innocent is abhorrent, there is absolutely no excuse for such insensitivity and cruelty to an innocent life. and then to repeat and repeat.. unconscionable .. senseless

  • Empy

    Once again the man is not held responsible. Like he didn’t know she was pregnant all of those times.

    • BMiller

      You don’t know what he might have known or not known. Seriously women can be pregnant and not show. Especially if shes doing drugs or not taking care of herself. I just have a hatd time believing how people can do things like this. Its absolutely beyond any reasoning. Its unfair that a woman like her can have babies and others who would be great mothers cannot. Its unfair and unjust. I know that no punishment that we can give her will be fitting enough. No the real justice comes after her death when she stands before the Lord on judgement day.

  • Allie

    I know the youngest daughter, who’s actually a really cool person just more distant, I wonder how she and her sisters are handling it. The kids at the school she goes to can be a immature about certain situations, poor girl.

  • you know

    who was in the house between the time she moved in 2011 to present…no one noticed the smell? How could no one notice she was ever pregnant and giving birth doesn’t happen between the hours of 8-5 so these babies were born anytime of the day…so where was this happening? How did she have time to hide this from her then husband and children….They conceived these babies in the dark and he didn’t notice a baby bump?

  • Reply

    What are you talking about? Respect her rights! You hate feminists! It’s only a post-birth abortion! They weren’t babies, they were fetuses because the placenta was not yet delivered. By the way, fur is murder.

  • bwhit

    Has anyone stopped to think that this may have been the best outcome for these infants given who they were born to? Yes, its a disturbing thought I know and I am in no way condoning this woman’s actions, she is a sick human being and will pay for her sins, but think about the life these children would have had if they had lived. Their suffering was brief in comparison to a lifetime of torture and emotional scars that would have lasted them all their lives. They may have eventually been given to loving families to be raised but realistically the odds of that happening are rare. Millions of abused children fall through the cracks and end up having tormented lives. Its sad I know, but I find it comforting to know they are not suffering, they are in heaven now with the “Ultimate Father”.

  • Anon

    Just have to say that you really shouldn’t make comments on things you know nothing about. I do know this woman, and her kids.. I decline to add a lot to this conversation, but I will say that you very obviously do not know her or her circumstance and you are so far off the mark!

  • Karen Greer Howell

    There is simply NO WAY this man did not realize his wife was carrying 7 different fetuses to full-term, giving birth to them and then strangling them. HE HAD TO KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT! Did she “time” her labor to when he was out of the house? All 7 times? No. I can assure you that SOMEBODY else knew about all these births. Someone delivered them in that home. Who can say that the husband didn’t strangle them himself? I just do not see this woman getting away with all these pregnancies without her husband knowing about it. Let’s be serious. There’s something about this story that is still missing.

  • anon

    @trishramirez, just because she lives in Utah, doesn’t mean that she is Mormon. And to everyone saying “how did he not know she was pregnant?” some people get really big when pregnant, some people don’t show at all. I’ve known people who u wouldn’t know were pregnant unless they told you. You don’t know how her body works or her mind. You don’t know what happened or why. Yes, its terrible and tragic, but these things and much worse happen everyday all around the world. I’m not saying its okay, but neither is your speculation and judgment. Also, worse things are depicted in the bible, for all you religious people out there spouting off your scriptures about her being condemned to hell. (no, I don’t believe in hell or heaven.) I believe her punishment has been with her all this time. The knowledge of killing her own children must be crushing. She has to live with it. The rest of you will move on to the next media storm soon enough, passing your judgment along the way.

  • anonym concerned

    ok obviously the father needs to be questioned. He lived with her while this was happening. Anyone consider how the teenage girls are doing? They lived with these messed up individuals. I hope the father, who just got out of prison, has no visitation rights. Just because she admitted to it dosent mean she did it. The father very well could have been the one who killed the infants and she may have taken the rap for it out of shame and fear. The man is a criminal and she left him and that house she could be a very traumatized victim. Im not saying she is for sure but i do not believe he should be released until this is further investigated.

    • Rhi Cummens

      Oh, so because he’s a convicted felon of DRUG CHARGES, NOT VIOLENT CHARGES, he should just NOT be allowed to see his kids? You’re the problem of the world, not the felons making a new life for themselves. You try being a felon, and getting turned down for jobs because of that title, getting looked at like you’re a monster every time someone finds out you’re a felon. You’re not concerned, you’re close minded and pin headed.

      • PC

        Rhi Cummens – the father is a convicted felon. Your sympathies for the challenges he will find when looking for a legitimate job are noted, but the choices he made that landed him in prison don’t make him sound responsible enough to be a parent. And the fact that these pregnancies and murders allegedly occurred when they were together as a couple also creates some pretty disturbing questions.

  • PC

    @Anon I get that you know this family and have a connection, but your comment that “they were probably not all that different from the majority families in your neighborhood” is a little wacked out, don’t ya’ think? And yes, I am VERY surprised by the “quality of her mothering”, or did you omit a letter and meant to say “smothering”?

  • Dawn Barstad

    she needs help I can not understand how anyone can take anyones life and live with themselves but God is the only judge there is very sick people in the world we live in for sure. God says we will all answer for what we have done on earth.

  • Dawn Barstad

    I don’t understand how a mother can carry a baby for nine months and feel every move the baby makes and hicups and all and hear her babies heart beat and than after it’s born kill it wow she is not a person of God she is of the devil for sure.

    • Susan Porter

      I dont understand how any parent, any person could kill a child and i know there will be a special hell for them but that is up to Father. The article said one infant was stillborn, if that was the first that screws with your mind. I carried a stillborn for two months before delivery it. If she never had medical/mental help through that it might have really messed with her mind enough to know she was out of control over its life/death and she took the control back along with the control over life or death. On the flip side of this scenario may the husband was an abuser and he killed them as a form of control over her. Maybe he delivered them telling mom he would turn her over as a means to control her further. There are so many unknowns about the case in the article. So much family history, family dynamics that were not mentioned, so no judgments other than sorrow at the loss of 6 babies, 7 total who never felt the loving arms and swaddled comfort from a caring person. But all of them are being loved now and will never hurt again.

  • Maddie

    How can someone hide 6 full term pregnancies? I mean, I understand that some people can be pregnant and not even know it…but six times? I don’t think so.

  • cindy

    I doesnt matter who new what what matters is she is now gona pay for what she has done i feel bad for her 3 liveing girls this has to be hard for those girl to have to finde out what a monster there mother is my prayer are with those girls

    • ladagosta

      yes i also find it odd that many real life events unfold after an episode of a similar tv series or movie seems to play out to the media. Now begs the question: which came first the chicken or the egg? is the media spoon feeding us future events or is this in the scheme of things like the movie minority report fed us pre-crime and now it appears that is something that falls into play in real life and the series family guy a month before the Boston bombing happened..which was pulled from the web.. but this does beg the question which happened first? or were certain sources privy to the information and played it out prior to the actual arrests being made making it appear that way? so many questions so few answers. but it makes people who have half a brain constantly question “what is really going on here and why” I am not going to loose sleep over this, but it does make one think a bit more as to what is happening. just my two cents … for whatever really matters, i don’t know, do you?

  • detective

    hum this is a pretty twisted situation. does anyone know for sure all of the babies belonged to the mother? is there any chance they could have been delivered by the daughters and the mother killed the babies as an act of compassion trying to protect either the daughters names or possibly covering up something the father? have the daughters been checked to see if any of them have given birth? and there is no let god judge in this situation he will judge all involved are gone but for now judgment needs to be made in this life to keep it from happening again. someone thought they could get away with it, is why it happened this time. has to stop somewhere.

    • ladagosta

      exactly, so many people want to play judge jury and executioner today it is sickening I mean even without having all the facts LOL that in itself says that people want to see people killed off.. and we call this humanity? huh. I tend to think there is more to this story than what meets the eyes in the news. and with time the answers will come forward.
      my sons was explaining to me what happened in his history class the topic came up how so many people were on food stamps and every one in class began to chime in that no one should be on food stamps. they should drug test every one on food stamps. they should cut the program or everyone on it should die. my sons sat there steaming, then raised the question: so the woman who is married and being abused and has infants to feed should what stay in the marriage until her or her children end up dead? or they don’t deserve help or protection but rather deserve to die? and the teacher chimed in as well and it got a huge debate going on how we now have automated check out systems or computers tending to human jobs and for each machine in operation 3 people have lost their jobs as a result of those machines, but this points the finger back to CORPORATE America and how they are taking our jobs away and starving us or forcing us onto the system that can not support all of us. bottom line is we need answers to these huge problems or the ones like this woman’s situation are going to increase 100 fold.
      people can only take so much could be she knew that the house hold could not support more than the 3 older children and if they were to have any more they all would starve. which is survival of the fittest, was she in survival mode? is she insane or just smart enough to know that having any system govern your moves is bound to bring more problems. the more you have to care for, the more of a burden you become to the system. I am not saying what she did is right, I am saying that people who want to make a judgement call ( or decide a persons fate without knowing the facts I.E.=judge jury and executioners) before knowing the facts really need to BACK UP AND REGROUP! without the facts you can not make an informed discussion. as we all know that facts are knowledge and knowledge is power, nothing else really matters does it ? I think not.. it is all about the almighty dollar and has been for decades. besides topics like these sell papers.. have to keep the media in operation :-) just more food for thought..and the wheels on the bus go round and round..lalalala there is more to the story and with time the factors of this story will come into play.. does it make it wrong or right.. as i said without the facts making judgment calls is a waste of time..

  • Lynne LaForce

    Does this woman suffer from scitzophrenia. Maybe she is not in her right mind. Would be interesting to find out.

  • Brailyn

    Sick people these days!!!! The world is just getting worse by its self that’s just sad. Praying for her.

  • ashlove1990

    Ok people you are ignorant… just because someone lives in the state of utah does not mean they are mormon or religious at all for that matter… Not everyone in utah was born and raised here either. and those of you thinking that because your mormon means you arent allowed to take birth control do a little more reading and studying. Yes religion plays a big factor in how this state is ran i wont deny that, but to solely blame the mormon religion for this womans harsh, unjust and cruel actions is absolutely IGNORANT!! Those saying the daughters could have played a factor in this are also ignorant or maybe illiterate, because it clearly states that the daugters were YOUNG when this all happened. Some of you need to go back and re-read the article because it also gives you a CLEAR timeline of events which CLEARLY state that the murders happend while the husband and wife were still living together BEFORE he was arrested on the drug charges.

    This comment for example:
    Trish Ramirez says:
    April 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm
    “The local predominant religion is all about appearances. How could this woman have taken money from her family budget for birth control without it being noticed? How could she ask a relief society sister for money for the pill or condoms or an abortion? How could she show face to her bishop if he found out what was going on? Not to mention that she was with a husband that ended up doing time for drug distribution, which she was probably aware of. Did she want to bring more children into the world when she was waiting for him to get nailed?”
    The “Local Predominant Religion is all about appearances”?? Do you even live in Utah? Or are you going off what you hear or see? Try living here… like i said i wont argue the fact that religion plays a HUGE factor in how the state is ran but they do not regulate birth control based off religion, and not all the men here think like they did back in the day.. they do not treat women the way you are describing and women have the SAME RIGHTS as men do here.. all you people who think us women walk around in robes and bow down to our “oh so holy men” are just plain STUPID…

    This woman is SICK and a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE person… i dont care if you knew or know or know of her, that doesnt make the crimes any less horrible or make her a better person. It does not matter the circumstances she killed 6 innocent children whether with help or not this woman knowling and willingliy killed these children and showed little to no remorse while admitting the crimes…. this woman needs to pay, yes. And she will. I will also note that a LARGE number of utah families do not have to hide a pregnant woman that is mormon or of the church, they may not like it but they will not tell you to MURDER the child and they will not JUDGE like all you Utah bashing people are doing.

    I dont like living here, but it is not as crazy, sheltered and psycho like you idiots are describing.

    Bunch of dumb people on this site i see…

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