Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Tale of Four Cities: Unpleasant Discoveries in Unassuming Homes

The first of two bizarre stories comes from Utah, and it is so "fresh" that all the facts are not yet out. One version of the Utah story says a family who was cleaning out the garage of their home when they found a box containing the body of a dead baby. They called police, who got a search warrant and executed it to search the house. In that search police found six more babies, all appearing to be full term.

Another version says it was the ex-husband of the woman who found the first baby and notified authorities. Whatever the means of discovery, the police have now arrested the previous owner, a 39-year-old woman named Megan Huntsman, who moved out of the house in 2011. Authorities have charged Ms. Huntsman  with six counts of murder over a ten year period from 1996 to 2006.

It is not known why the murder charge count is six when seven bodies have been found. It is possible that one of the babies was underdeveloped and/or not full-term, so the death may not qualify as murder if it is unclear that the infant survived outside the womb.

There will undoubtedly be more news reported on this bizarre story in the coming days.
Quite eerily, the town where these seven deaths occurred was Pleasant Grove, Utah. What's eerie about that? Less than six months ago, another grisly discovery of a dead baby was made in the Missouri town of Pleasant Hill. The Missouri baby's body was found in a bucket, encased in concrete. The husband and wife who live in the home have four other children. As of November 7 when the report of the discovery was made, no information was available about whether there were suspects in the case or the nature of the relationship of the baby to the people living in the house.

Just over a year earlier, on August 12, 2012, the body of a woman was discovered in an apartment in Pleasant Ridge, OH, outside of Cincinnati. The woman was later identified as LaVaneva Green, and her death was ruled a homicide. A juvenile eventually was arrested for her murder.

Then there was the triple murder in November of last year in Pleasant Valley, New York.  A Pakastani man named Abbas Lodhi was found dead in his car outside a supermarket, with his nine-year-old son also dead in the car. Subsequently the older son, age 13, was found dead from gunshot wounds at family's home. Lodhi's wife, Sarwat, was missing, and may at first have been a suspect. However, when her bullet-riddled body was found on the highway the next day, the investigation led to the conclusion that the pharmacist father had killed his wife and two sons in a triple murder-suicide.

I think I will steer clear of towns that have "Pleasant" in their name.


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