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US mom admits to killing her 6 babies over 10 years

PROVO, Utah--Authorities say a U.S. woman accused of killing six babies that she gave birth to over 10 years told investigators that she either strangled or suffocated the children and then put them inside boxes in the garage of her home in the western state of Utah.

According to a probable cause statement released by police Monday, Megan Huntsman said that between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies and that all but one of them were born alive.

Huntsman, 39, said she killed them immediately after they were born, and put their bodies inside the boxes. The statement said each baby was wrapped in either a towel or a shirt, and placed in a plastic bag.

Huntsman is being held on US$6 million bail — US$1 million for each baby she's accused of killing. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney.

Huntsman was arrested Sunday on six counts of murder after police found the infants' tiny bodies in her former home in Pleasant Grove, a leafy, sleepy town about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City. A seventh baby found appears to have been stillborn, Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman said.

During the interview with police, Huntsman was unemotional and matter of fact, according to Pleasant Grove police Lt. Britt Smith.

Formal charges have not yet been filed against Huntsman and no other arrests have been made but Buhman said the investigation remains open.

Investigators were trying to determine if the seven babies had the same father or multiple fathers, Buhman said.

The gruesome case has raised a series of questions about how the killings occurred despite Huntsman carrying out what neighbors said seemed like a normal existence.

“How can you have a baby and not have evidence and other people know?” asked neighbor SanDee Wall. “You can't plan when a baby is going to come. Just the thought of somebody putting a baby into a box is a heartbreaker.”

Police declined to comment on a motive and on what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

Her estranged husband, Darren West, who had recently been in prison on drug-related charges, made the discovery Saturday with fellow family members while cleaning out the garage of the house, which is owned by his parents. He called Huntsman, who admitted to him it was her baby, according to court documents.

West called police, who then found the six other bodies in the garage, police Capt. Michael Roberts said.

Late Sunday, West's family issued a statement saying they were in a “state of shock and confusion.”

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