Warrant: Dead baby in Utah covered with chemicals

Warrant: Dead baby in Utah covered with chemicals

May 2nd, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Megan Huntsman, accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage, appears in court in this April 28, 2014, in Provo, Utah.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

SALT LAKE CITY - The body of at least one baby found in the garage of a Utah woman accused of killing six of her newborns over a decade was covered in a chemical that smelled like iodine, according to documents made public Friday.

In addition, suspect Megan Huntsman told police in a phone conversation on the day the first body was found by her husband that the baby was stillborn and she had been afraid to go to police or a hospital, the search warrant affidavit says,

She didn't say why she was scared.

Authorities also reported finding bloody leather gloves and women's underwear in the garage, and infant booties and clothes in the master bedroom. Police took stained sections of a mattress in the master bedroom as evidence.

Police have said Darren West, the estranged husband of Huntsman, 39, found the first body after opening a small white box covered with electrician's tape on April 12.

The documents released Friday state that West also told police he discovered the baby in a plastic bag with a strong chemical odor emanating from it.

West said there was no decomposition smell, just a chemical odor.

Police in Pleasant Grove discovered the six other dead babies after obtaining a search warrant for the house. They were in boxes throughout the garage, wrapped in shirts or towels, documents show.

Huntsman later acknowledged that from 1996 to 2006, she strangled or suffocated six of the babies, put them in plastic bags and packed them inside boxes in the garage south of Salt Lake City, separate court document states.

Huntsman said one infant found in the garage was stillborn.

Huntsman has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder. She has not entered a plea.

Investigators say they know Huntsman's motive but declined to discuss it publicly.

During a brief court appearance Monday in Provo, the shackled Huntsman mostly kept her eyes focused downward as she was informed of the charges.

Defense attorney Doug Thompson told reporters afterward that he has spoken with Huntsman and she seemed fine, though he declined to provide details on her state of mind.

Investigators believe West is the father of the babies. He lived with Huntsman during the decade the babies were killed and was in federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January. Prosecutors said he is cooperating with the investigation and is not a suspect.

Authorities are awaiting DNA testing to confirm Huntsman and West are the parents of the babies, and to determine the sex of the children. Their causes of death also remain uncertain.

The FBI has been brought in to help because no labs in Utah can analyze the type of DNA taken from the small corpses, police said.