SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say a Utah mother’s motive for killing six of her newborns was that she was addicted to methamphetamine and other drugs and didn’t want to deal with the responsibility.
Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts told The Associated Press on Tuesday that 39-year-old Megan Huntsman was heavily into a meth addiction when she strangled or suffocated the infants from 1996 to 2006.
Roberts said she wasn’t worried about the babies’ health, but selfishly didn’t want to care for them.
Authorities think a seventh baby found in her Pleasant Grover garage was stillborn.
Police had previously declined to discuss a motive in the case.
Huntsman is in jail on $6 million bail, charged with six counts of first-degree murder.
Her lawyers were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
DNA results confirm that the biological father of the seven dead infants found stored in a Utah garage is the estranged husband of the woman charged with murder in the case, authorities said Tuesday.
The results from the FBI’s analysis also shows five of the babies were girls and two were boys, said Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts. All seven were full term, he said.
Megan Huntsman, 39, is charged with six counts of first-degree murder. She told officers that she strangled or suffocated six of the newborns from 1996 to 2006. Huntsman said one infant was stillborn.
Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, lived with her during the decade their children were killed before going to federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January.
West found the first baby April 12 while cleaning out the garage of the home he had shared with Huntsman. He told police he found the baby in a small white box covered with electrician’s tape.
The six other bodies were found after police obtained a search warrant for the home. Documents show they were all found wrapped in shirts or towels inside individual boxes in the garage.
Investigators are still trying to pin down how West didn’t know about the deaths, but Roberts said he is still not a suspect in the case. They don’t plan to bring him in again for questioning.
Huntsman remains the only suspect in the investigation, which remains open, Roberts said. Detectives are waiting to get results back from criminal forensic testing that Roberts declined to elaborate on.
Huntsman is being held in Utah County Jail on $6 million bail. She is due back in court in Provo on July 21. She has not yet entered a plea.
Court records show she is being represented by three public defenders, none of whom immediately returned calls seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.
Previous tests from the Utah state lab found that the babies were likely dead anywhere from two to 10 years or more, Roberts said.
The day of the grisly discovery, Huntsman told police that were eight or nine dead babies in her home, a previously released search warrant affidavit showed. But Roberts said Huntsman was confused and was taking a ballpark guess.
Roberts said Tuesday investigators continue to believe there were only seven.
The FBI was brought in to help with the investigation because no labs in Utah could analyze the type of DNA taken from the small corpses.