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Chris Watts facing three murder charges, told investigators his wife strangled daughters

Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 20:29:41-04

FREDERICK – The Weld County District Attorney’s Office released new documents that detail what Chris Watts told investigators about the killings of Shanann Watts and their two daughters Monday afternoon.

An arrest affidavit said investigators found Chris Watts, Shanann’s husband and Bella and Celeste Watts’ father, was involved in an affair with a co-worker, which he denied in previous interviews with investigators.

The documents say Watts asked to speak with his father at the Frederick Police Department, and that he would “tell the truth” after speaking to his father.

After that conversation, Watts told investigators he told Shanann at 4 a.m. last Monday that he wanted to separate. She had returned home from a business trip a little before 2 a.m. that morning.

He then said he went to their bedroom, where he saw through a baby monitor that Bella was sprawled on her bed and he said he saw Shanann strangling Celeste.

Chris Watts told investigators he intervened and strangled his pregnant wife to death. He then said he loaded all three bodies into the back seat of his work truck. He then said he buried Shanann near two oil tanks and dumped Bella and Celeste inside those tanks.

A Weld County judge denied motions filed by the defense requesting an expert be present at the autopsies of the family to collect DNA from the children’s necks and their mother’s hands.

Recent court documents also revealed the body of the pregnant mom was found buried in a shallow grave near an oil tank where their daughters’ bodies were also found.

The bodies of 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella were found in the same day inside oil tanks near the grave Shannan was found in.

The District Attorney’s Office announced formal charges Monday against Chris Watts, including three counts of first degree murder for their deaths.

Watts is facing a total of nine felony charges. These charges include three counts of First Degree Murder, two counts of Murder – Victim Under 12 by Person in Position of Trust, one count of Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy in the First Degree,  and three counts of Tampering with a Deceased Human Body.

Shanann’s father, Frank Rzucek, made a statement before the district attorney announced the charges. He thanked the Federick Police Department for locating the bodies of Shanann, Bella and Celeste as well as her unborn child Nico.

“Thank you everyone for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers,” Rzucek said. “They are greatly appreciated. And keep the prayers coming for our family. Thank you very much.”

As we’ve reported, Watts was reported missing after a Frederick police officer stopped by the family home on a call for a welfare check a little before 2 p.m. last Monday.

Shanann’s friend called police because Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant and told her the night before that she wasn’t feeling well as she dropped her off at the family home following Shanann’s business trip to Arizona.

Her friend also told police Shanann was not answering calls or text messages and she missed a doctor’s appointment scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday morning. She went to her house and found her car with both car seats still in the vehicle.

Police called Chris Watts to ask for his permission to enter the home when they found all entrances were locked. Chris Watts allowed the officer inside, where they did not find Shanann or her daughters inside. Police found her purse, phone and wallet inside the home.

According to the documents, Watts told the responding officer that he woke up and told Shanann that he wanted to separate and Shanann told him she was going to a friend’s house that day.

That launched a massive search of the surrounding area, causing involvement from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

Chris Watts also agreed to multiple interviews with media outlets where he said he had an “emotional conversation” with his wife before her disappearance.

Late last Wednesday, multiple media reports sourcing law enforcement sources said Watts admitted to killing his wife and their two daughters.

The full document can be seen in the link below:

Chris Watts Arrest Affidavit