A 39-year-old woman in Utah told police she either strangled or suffocated at least six babies immediately after she gave birth to them over a period of years, a document shows.
Megan Hunstman appeared in court Monday where she is facing six counts of murder, according to Chief Michael Smith with the Pleasant Grove, Utah, police department. She’s being held on $6 million bail.
Over the weekend, authorities found the remains of seven infants at a home where Huntsman used to live.
“During her interview, Ms. Huntsman admitted that between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies at the Pleasant Grove residence, and that all of the babies, but one, were born alive, and that she either strangled or suffocated the babies immediately after they were born,” read a probable cause statement.
“According to Ms. Huntsman, she then concealed their bodies inside boxes and placed them inside the garage of the Pleasant Grove residence,” the statement added.
Police first responded to the home on Saturday. Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, contacted authorities after finding a baby wrapped in a plastic bag in the garage, the statement said. A search warrant was obtained and officers discovered six more bodies at the home.
It was not immediately clear whether Huntsman has retained counsel.
According to Smith, West does not face charges.
“He has been cooperative,” the police chief said. “But we continue to investigate what type of knowledge or role he may have played, if any.”
The Utah case sounds eerily familiar to a case in France a few years ago.
Prosecutors there charged a woman with murder in 2010 after she admitted giving birth to and smothering eight babies over a 17-year period.
The case came to light when a couple gardening in their backyard in the northern town of Villers-au-Tertre found two babies’ bodies in sealed plastic bags and called police.
Police spoke to Dominique Cottrez and her husband, who had previously lived in the home, and Cottrez admitted immediately that she was the mother of the two babies, prosecutor Eric Vaillant told reporters. She then told police about six others concealed in their garage.
It is unclear from subsequent media reports about the Cottrez case whether it has been resolved.
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