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Police looking for diary in Megan Huntsman case

Published May 5, 2014 4:05 pm

Pleasant Grove mom is charged with six counts of first-degree felony murder.
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More search warrants were publicly released Monday in Megan Huntsman's case, revealing evidence police have seized — and what they are still looking for — as they continue to investigate how the Utah woman allegedly killed six of her own newborn babies over a decade ago.

In the newly unsealed warrants, investigators write that Huntsman's boyfriend told police that the woman kept a diary on "an electronic storage device." However, investigators have not been able to find that device, but hope it could reveal "means, motive, and/or method of death and concealment or storage and preservation of the bodies," the search warrant reads.

Police seized the woman's dresser and a desk that had been kept at another Pleasant Grove residence, hoping to find that electronic device, as well as other evidence such as blood or "body fluid-covered articles," according to the warrants.

Huntsman, 39, is charged in Provo's 4th District Court with six counts of first-degree felony murder, after seven tiny bodies were found wrapped in clothing and plastic, tucked in cardboard boxes, in her Pleasant Grove home on April 12.

On that day, her husband, Darren West — who spent eight years in prison for drug crimes before being recently released into a Salt Lake City halfway house — was at the home retrieving some of his belongings.

While looking in the garage, West found a lifeless child that Huntsman said was West's. The baby was wrapped in plastic bags and a green towel and stuffed into a white box that had been sealed with electrical tape. West told police that the infant inside looked yellow and had a "chemical smell," like iodine, search warrants state.

Police later found six more baby corpses in various boxes.

According to other search warrants that were unsealed Friday, Huntsman allegedly admitted to police that there may be "at least eight or nine" deceased children in the Pleasant Grove home, and admitted to killing all of them, except one, who was stillborn at birth, between 1996 and 2006.

During her interview with the police, the woman could not tell them exactly where each of the children were located, according to the search warrants.

Huntsman also told police that she "lost a lot of blood" during one of the births that took place on her bedroom mattress. The stained mattress, along with the head and footboard and other furniture, was later seized by police.

The woman, who is being held at the Utah County jail in lieu of $6 million bail, is expected to be in court again on May 19, where her attorneys will decide whether to have a preliminary hearing in the case.

Because she had to be charged under the murder statute as it was written at the time of the alleged crimes, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said, she cannot be charged with a capital offense. Huntsman faces a maximum penalty for each count of five years to life, in accordance with the near decade-old laws, as opposed to the current 25-years-to-life sentence.

The Pleasant Grove home where the infants were found, a rambler split into upstairs and downstairs apartments, is owned by West's parents and has been inhabited by the couple's oldest daughters and West's sister and husband.

The eldest daughters are around 18 to 20 years old, officials said, while the youngest is now about 13, and was born in the middle of the period that Huntsman allegedly admitted to killing the other newborns.


Twitter: @jm_miller






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