Four months after a Utah mother was arrested and charged with murdering six of her newborn children, police have identified a motive for her crime: the 39-year-old woman was addicted to methamphetamine and felt she was unable to handle her children, reports USA Today.
Megan Huntsman faces six counts of premeditated murder after she was accused of strangling or suffocating six of her infants to death between the years 1996 and 2006. Police say she then hid their bodies in the garage of her home in Pleasant Grove, which is located near Salt Lake City. It is also believed that the body of a seventh infant they found was stillborn.
Although authorities were perplexed at first by the reason why Huntsman would kill her five daughters and two sons, they announced Tuesday that they have reason to believe the mom felt she was not capable of providing for them because she was addicted to meth. The babies’ father was Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, who reportedly spent eight years in prison for possessing chemicals used to make the drug.
West called police when he discovered a white box sealed with electrical tape in the basement. The box reportedly contained a baby wrapped in plastic bags and a green towel. Police say the man is not a suspect in the case, though they are not sure why he did not know about her pregnancies or the babies’ deaths.
This is the first time a motive for the woman’s actions has been reported. The results of Huntsman’s psychological exam have yet to be revealed, reports Syracuse Post-Standard.
“It was completely selfish,” Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said. “She was high on drugs and didn’t want the babies or the responsibility. That was her priority at the time.”
Huntsman is being held on $6 million, cash-only bail. Although she reportedly admitted to killing her newborns, she has yet to enter a plea. She is expected back in court on July 21.