Mom accused of killing 6 newborns held on $6 million bond
Shocked neighbors, police still have many questions about 'heinous' case
"We don't have any information that would lead us to believe what she's telling us is not true," the chief said. He hoped to have more answers from the medical examiner by the end of the week, such as cause and manner of each death.
Huntsman has three daughters, ages 22, 20 and 14.
At the time of her arrest, Huntsman was living in a modular home at 3880 S. Hummingbird Street in West Valley City. Flowers, who lives next door, said Huntsman had been living there with her boyfriend for at least a year and a half.
"She was nice. You would have never known in a million years that she could have done this. I mean, she was always nice. My daughters adored her. He has a (4- or 5-) year-old son that she took care of all the time. They were always together," he said. "I didn't notice anything that would have been shady or a red flag."
Flowers said when Huntsman went with police on Saturday, she mentioned something about a stillborn child. He didn't find out about the six other bodies until seeing news reports Sunday night.
"I can't even imagine what her own daughters are going through as well as her ex-husband when they found what they found. I couldn't be in their footsteps. There's no way. And just knowing what had happened and knowing my kids, yeah, it's mind-boggling," he said.
According to Flowers, numerous officers arrived at her home Saturday morning and searched the property until about 11:30 p.m. Huntsman was taken to the police station early for questioning, while her boyfriend was away attending to a family funeral.
"There were items of evidence collected from that location. We were not able to uncover any other crimes or infants," Smith said.
Darren West, Huntsman's estranged husband, called her after finding one of the deceased infants in the garage, and then called police after she told him it was hers, the police affidavit states.
West was convicted federally in 2006 of possessing meth-making materials, including phosphorus and iodine, according to court records. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and was just in the process of moving back into his Pleasant Grove house.
Smith said there were five people living at the Pleasant Grove house and adjoining apartment, including Huntsman and West's three daughters. He believes the garage had been used only for storage and the family was in the process of cleaning it out when the horrible discovery was made.
"It looks like they had been into the job for quite awhile," he said.
Flowers said Huntsman had told him that after West was convicted, she was no longer welcome in the house owned by West's family. Their three daughters, however, were allowed to stay.
Flowers also said Huntsman and her current boyfriend told him that she was pregnant again as recently as a few months ago, but had a miscarriage.
"As far as we know, she went to the doctor for that one," he said.
Smith had no comment Monday on reports of another pregnancy.
How Huntsman, who is listed in jail records as being 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 105 pounds, could have hidden seven pregnancies may have been simply due to common public courtesies, one Pleasant Grove neighbor said.
"There's been times she'd put on weight and I thought, 'Is she pregnant?' But of course, that's something you don't ask a woman," said SanDee Wall, who has lived next to the Pleasant Grove house since 2000.
"But then there was no children anymore. But there was a couple of times I thought so with the weight gain, because she's very tiny. But it's a shock. The first thing that comes to my mind is how can you have them at home and not have any appearance of it? Kind of makes you wonder, 'How did it all happen?'" she said.
Wall now has many of the same questions that others have about the bizarre case.
"Why? Why would it ever happen? It's just crazy. It's heartbreaking to me," she said.
Wall described Huntsman as being very quiet, although she said she appeared to be a good mother. She described West as a very good person who was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" when he was arrested and convicted.
"It is hard to express with words, the emotions surrounding our family at this time. (Saturday's) events have left us in a state of shock and confusion. We are mourning this tragic loss of life and we are trying to stay strong and help each other through this awful event," West's family said in a prepared statement released Sunday.
Smith said this hasn't been an easy case for his detectives.
"It obviously takes its toll on the officers involved in this case. We have an employee assistance program if our employees need to talk to somebody," he said. "It's very fair to say this is very hard on an individual on anybody that has to deal with this kind of tragedy."
Utah enacted a Safe Haven Law in 2001. According to the law, every 24-hour hospital in Utah is considered a Safe Haven, or a place where a newborn baby can be dropped off with no questions asked if a mother cannot take care of it.
There is also a 24-hour hotline to offer help at 1-866-458-0058.
Contributing: Sam Penrod
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam
- Lehi toddler killed in accident remembered as...
- Preparing to split up, LDS General Primary...
- A river runs dry: Water and the future of...
- Cyclist killed on training run after...
- Photo gallery: Holi festival immerses Utahns...
- Utah taxpayers will pay millions more in wake...
- American Fork cyclist killed during training...
- Boy, 3, killed in Lehi scooter accident
- President Obama to make first trip to... 70
- BYU student claims he was evicted after... 56
- Utah taxpayers will pay millions more... 40
- Sen. Harry Reid's retirement recalls... 39
- Tea party movement still strong,... 23
- Cyclist killed on training run after... 19
- A river runs dry: Water and the future... 14
- Court battle settled over Susan Powell... 11