In May of 2014 Darren West went to the home of his estranged ex-wife to collect some of his belongings from her cluttered garage. He rummaged through the various boxes and bags – some labeled, others not. West decided to open one box labeled “Baby Stuff – Megan’s.” Expecting to see onesies and booties from one of he and Megan’s now adult daughters or the 13-year-old the couple shared, he was taken back by what he found instead.
Inside the box was the tiny remains of a newborn child. In a panic West called 911 about the grisly discovery.
Investigators obtained a warrant to search through the home. Wrapped in clothing, trash bags, and towels, and scattered throughout the garage, one by one more tiny bodies were uncovered from various boxes and cubbyholes. The babies had all been badly decomposed and appeared to have a yellowish tint, as if they had been soaked in iodine prior to being hidden away.
For nearly a decade Megan Huntsman had been giving birth to West’s children – at least one a year – and then killing the infant at the time of birth. No one knew the woman had ever been pregnant. Relatives say that even with Huntsman’s living children, no one knew she had been carrying a baby until she went to the hospital.
Altogether seven tiny bodies were pulled from the garage. According to Huntsman, at least one of the infants had been stillborn, but she confessed to strangling or suffocating the others at the time of birth.
Huntsman, who was arrested at her boyfriend’s trailer, admitted that her life had spiraled into a vicious cycle of substance abuse. She had lost her job at a supermarket bakery and her father’s suicide drove her down even deeper. Her marriage to West was not a happy one and he was known to get violent. She was able to escape the relationship when West was charged for ordering chemicals necessary to produce methamphetamine.
Police believe that West was also kept in the dark about the pregnancies and was hoping to rebuild his relationship with Huntsman after he was released from prison. When he uncovered the clandestine mausoleum inside his garage, his dreams of living in the home again with his estranged wife and children were shattered.
In April of 2014 Huntsman received six terms of up to life in prison, the maximum sentence possible. Huntsman told the judge that between 1996 and 2006, when the babies were determined to have been killed, she had been too addicted to methamphetamine and her life was too unstable to have any more children.