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Neighbor: Huntsman had a miscarriage recently

Woman, accused of killing her six newborns, reportedly was excited to be a grandmother.

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Flowers remembers hearing about a similar case on the East Coast and thought such a crime could never happen here.

He said he cannot imagine what Huntsman’s daughters — ages 20, 18 and 14 — must be going through, particularly since the youngest would have been born in the middle of the time frame when the other babies died.

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It still does not add up to the woman Flowers knew. One of Huntsman’s elder daughters is currently pregnant, and Huntsman seemed to be excited at the prospect of becoming a grandmother, Flowers recalled.

"I don’t know how somebody can do that and go on with their day … be a good mother figure … and look at yourself in the mirror and be OK," Flowers said.

Utah investigators are examining DNA from the babies to determine whom the parents are and studying the bones to find out how long ago the babies died. Greg Hess, Pima County chief medical examiner in southern Arizona, said forensic anthropologists should eventually be able to also determine the sex of the babies based on the DNA results, and determine if the babies were full term by examining the bones.

But they probably won’t be able to figure out if the babies were born alive unless one measures significantly bigger than a typical newborn or there are obvious signs of trauma that caused the death, Hess said. His office handles hundreds of bodies a year found in varying degrees of decomposition in the harsh Arizona desert.

The inability to scientifically determine if the babies were born alive could be key later if defense attorneys argue that the babies were stillborn.

The investigators are done with their initial interviews of family, friends and neighbors and are now digging into evidence, police captain Roberts said. But they haven’t ruled out doing more interviews or making more arrests.

"It is a slow, meticulous process," Roberts said.

Next-door neighbor SanDee Wall said police asked her about whether Huntsman looked pregnant, if she was seen with other men and about a small trailer in the backyard. Wall told them she noticed weight fluctuations through the years, but didn’t notice any men coming and going or anything odd happening in the trailer.

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Twitter: @mikeypanda

Tribune reporter Thomas Burr and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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