published Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Utah police enlist FBI to help in baby death case

Pleasant Grove Police investigate the scene where seven infant bodies were discovered and packaged in separate containers at a home in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in this April 13, 2014, photo.
Pleasant Grove Police investigate the scene where seven infant bodies were discovered and packaged in separate containers at a home in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in this April 13, 2014, photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah authorities are enlisting the help of the FBI to analyze DNA from seven babies found dead in the garage of a woman who has been arrested on six counts of murder.

None of the labs in Utah can analyze the type of DNA that has been taken from the tiny corpses, which were found in various stages of decomposition, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said Thursday.

Authorities are hoping DNA will reveal who the parents are and the sex of the babies. It's unknown when results will be back, but they aren't expected anytime soon, Roberts said.

Megan Huntsman, 39, was arrested Sunday and is being held on $6 million bail. She is due in court Monday in Provo, Utah, for an arraignment.

After her estranged husband discovered one of the infant corpses in the garage of their Pleasant Grove home this past weekend, Huntsman acknowledged to police that she killed six of the babies, put them in plastic bags and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home south of Salt Lake City over a decade from 1996 to 2006. She told police one of the babies was stillborn.

Investigators still believe that timeline to be true, Roberts said.

Her estranged husband, Darren West, lived with her during the decade she says this happened, but he was in federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January. West told police in his initial interview that he knew nothing about the pregnancies, but he has since obtained an attorney and investigators haven't spoken with him again, Roberts said. They are trying to determine his knowledge or involvement.

Investigators have an initial theory on Huntsman's motive but aren't discussing it publicly, Roberts said.

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