PROVO, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborn infants over the course of a decade and hiding their bodies in the garage of her home was charged on Monday with first-degree murder in the babies’ deaths.
Megan Huntsman, 39, made a brief court appearance in Provo, Utah, as the charges were revealed by Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman, who told reporters afterward that DNA from the infants’ remains was still being analyzed to positively determine the their parentage.
Police have said Huntsman, who was arrested April 13, has admitted to strangling or suffocating the six babies just after their births between 1996 and 2006.
The infants’ remains were found wrapped in old towels, shirts and plastic and stuffed inside cardboard boxes in the garage. The body of a seventh infant was found disposed of in the same way, but authorities have said they believe that child was stillborn.
Police have said Huntsman secretly gave birth to all seven babies without medical assistance at the house where she previously lived in the town of Pleasant Grove, just north of Provo. They said she apparently managed to keep her pregnancies concealed from the outside world.
Authorities have said she has explained her rationale for the killings to investigators, but they have not publicly revealed the alleged motive in the rare case of serial infanticide.
Huntsman has three surviving daughters, ages 14, 18 and 20, who still live at the house. At least one of them, the youngest, was born during the period in which the mother is suspected of slaying the babies.
(Reporting by Peg McEntee; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and David Gregorio)