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How did this woman get pregnant six times

This undated booking photo courtesy of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office shows Megan Huntsman, 39. She wrapped their bodies in a towel or a shirt, put them in plastic bags and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home south of Salt Lake City.

What’s not clear is why. A day after her arrest on charges of killing her six babies, investigators and her neighbours puzzled over the grisly discovery, including how she could have concealed a half dozen pregnancies over a 10 year period.

“How can you have a baby and not have evidence and other people know?” asked neighbour 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.”

Huntsman, who was arrested Sunday on six counts of murder, was ordered held on $6 million bail $1 million for each baby.

According to a probable cause statement released by police Monday, Huntsman said she gave birth to at least seven babies between 1996 and 2006 at her former home in Pleasant Grove, a leafy, sleepy town about 55 kilometres south of Salt Lake City.

All but one of the babies was born alive, she said. During the interview with police, she was unemotional and matter of fact, according to Pleasant Grove police Lieut. Britt Smith.

Her estranged husband, Darren West, 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 bodies in the garage.

Investigators believe Huntsman is the mother of them all based on what she has told them, but have ordered DNA tests to make sure that’s the case. They don’t know who the babies’ fathers are. It could take weeks to get the results, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said.

Huntsman’s three daughters one teenager and two young adults also lived in the house.

Investigators believe West and Huntsman were together when the babies were born, but don’t believe he was aware of the killings. Buhman said Huntsman is the principle suspect, but didn’t rule out more michael kors outlet online arrests as the investigation continues.

Police have talked with West as they investigate his level of knowledge and involvement in the deaths, Smith said.

He’s been co operative, and was devastated by the discovery, he said.

Smith said the three daughters have been interviewed, but he declined to discuss what they said.

West pleaded guilty in federal court in 2005 to two counts of possessing chemicals intended to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine, according to court records. In August 2006, he was sentenced to nine years in prison, but appealed three times.

West was released from a federal prison in California in January and transferred to a halfway house in Salt Lake City, said Chris michael kors outlet online Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

During the Drug Enforcement Administration investigation in 2005, agents stopped by the house, spoke with Huntsman and looked around, b michael kors outlet online ut it’s unknown how extensi michael kors outlet online ve the search was.

Neighbours said they noticed Huntsman’s weight fluctuated over the years, with her toggling between baggy and tight clothes, but they didn’t realize she was pregnant.

Cheryl Meyer, a psychology professor at Ohio’s Wright State University, said some women who kill their children hide or deny the pregnancy and then dispose of the baby after it’s born. Meyer said “concealers” are typically teenagers who do not repeat the act.

“These are usually girls who are 17, get pregnant, become scared to death and don’t want to tell their parents,” said Meyer, who has written about mothers who kill their children. “They’re not 30 year old women who can go have an abortion.”

In coming days, defence attorneys for Huntsman are likely to closely examine her background to search for any evidence of mental illness or a family history that would help explain the alleged killings, said George Parnham, who represented Andrea Yates, the Texas woman who drowned her five children in her bathtub in 2001.

Defence attorneys also will try to determine whether Huntsman sought an abortion and if she told anyone about her pregnancies all in hopes of understanding actions that otherwise appear incomprehensible, Parnham said.

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