US & Canada

Bodies of seven babies found in Utah house

A Utah woman has been accused of killing six of her own babies after their bodies were discovered in cardboard boxes at her former house.

Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies in 1996-2006, police have said.

Seven bodies were found by police at the house in Pleasant Grove, but one is believed to have been stillborn.

Ms Huntsman has admitted she strangled or suffocated the other six children immediately after they were born, police said.

She was arrested on six counts of murder on Sunday and is being held at Utah Country Jail on in lieu of $6m (£3.6m) bail.

Her estranged husband, who has not been charged, discovered the first body in the garage before alerting authorities.

Darren West, who has himself been in prison recently on drug-related charges, is believed to have been her partner when the children were born.

"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," police spokesman Michael Roberts said.

When asked how the husband could not have known his wife had given birth to seven children, Mr Roberts replied: "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."

Megan Huntsman is shown in this booking photo provided by the Pleasant Grove County Jail in Pleasant Grove
Megan Huntsman, 39, apparently kept her pregnancies hidden from her husband, neighbours and her other children
Pleasant Grove Police investigate the scene where seven infant bodies were discovered and packaged in separate containers at a home in Pleasant Grove
The bodies were discovered stuffed into separate cardboard boxes in a garage
Exterior or Megan Huntsman's former house
Neighbours said they were unaware of unusual activity at the house

Police officers "got more and more shocked with each box they opened", he added.

'Shock and confusion'

The bodies have been sent to a medical examiner for testing.

DNA samples taken from Megan Huntsman and her husband will be used to confirm the identity of the parents.

On Sunday, Darren West's family said they were in a "state of shock and confusion".

Mrs Huntsman had moved out of the house around three years ago.

She had three daughters, a teenager and two adults, who had continued to live there.

The daughters seemed "normal", neighbour Vickie Nelson told the Associated Press.

They did not seem to know their mother was pregnant or notice anything suspicious, neighbours said.