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Megan Huntsman, who killed six of her newborn babies by smothering or strangling them, will remain in prison for at least another 49 years.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has set an initial parole hearing for April 2064 for Huntsman, who pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree felony murder in her children's deaths and was sentenced to five years to life behind bars on each count.

Huntsman, now 40, will be 89 at the time of her hearing. Including the time she spent in jail before her sentencing last month, she will be incarcerated for a minimum of a half century.

Huntsman admitted killing the six infants shortly after birth during the period from Jan. 1, 1996, to Dec. 31, 2006. Her long-kept secret began to unravel in early April 2014, when her estranged husband, Darren West — who had spent eight years in prison for drug crimes before being released into a Salt Lake City halfway house — was retrieving some of his belongings at their Pleasant Grove home.

Inside the garage, West found the remains of a baby wrapped in plastic bags and a green towel and stuffed into a white box sealed with electrical tape. Police, who were alerted to the grisly discovery, later found six more infant corpses similarly stored inside other boxes. Huntsman told them that one of the children was stillborn.

Police have said that Huntsman used methamphetamine heavily and that her drug addiction was a motive for her crimes. West, who fathered the five girls and two boys, has said he did not know about the pregnancies.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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