The former husband of Megan Huntsman — a woman currently serving life in prison for suffocating six newborn babies and hiding them in boxes in her Utah garage — claims he had absolutely no idea what was going on at the time.
Investigators say they don’t believe his claims, but they don’t have sufficient evidence to move forward in a case against Darren West. They had reportedly been questioning him heavily since the babies’ bodies were found in April 2014.
The Associated Press obtained public records outlining West’s claims that he had no idea what was going on with Huntsman because he was addicted to cocaine, meth, and other drugs at the time of the killings. According to News 24, West admits to knowing about a couple of his wife’s pregnancies between 1996 and 2004, but he thought they ended due to miscarriage. “I knew she was pregnant, but I was so messed up on freaking drugs I don’t know what was going on,” he explained.
Huntsman is now serving life in prison; she admitted to killing six newborns, but says she was also suffering from an alcohol and meth addiction at the time of the deaths. (There was a seventh baby found as well, but that one was stillborn.)
Investigators believe the infants were suffocated over a 10-year span, and somehow Huntsman managed to conceal her pregnancies from everyone who knew her. USA Today printed a statement from Huntsman about her motives:
“In some small way, I wanted to help them avoid the terrible life I would have given them. I deprived my little babies of the opportunity of life. … Those babies aren’t coming back, and they never will because of my actions.”
Pleasant Grove police did a search of the couple’s home in April 2014 after receiving a call from Huntsman’s ex-husband. Reuters says Darren West stumbled across one of the bodies while cleaning out the garage. Once inside the residence, investigators found the bodies of seven infants stuffed inside cardboard boxes.
Huntsman has three older children as well. Two of the three children and Huntsman’s own mother wrote letters of support to the court on her behalf, USA Today reports.
Although in 30 years Huntsman will reportedly be eligible for parole, the prosecutor does not think she will ever see freedom again. Jeff Buhman, Utah County Attorney said, “These were very cold and calculated killings. She was a woman who was remarkably unbelievable and incredibly indifferent. She smothered or strangled six of her own flesh and blood.”
Utah has a Safe Haven law in place to assist mothers with unwanted babies — it’s a law Huntsman could have taken advantage of. The law, according to its website, went into effect in 2001 and it allows mothers to anonymously give up babies they can’t care for.
Read more: News 24
Read more: NBC News
Read more: Reuters
Read more: USA Today
Read more: PIX11