Colorado Man Charged in Murder of His Family Claims Wife Strangled Kids
DENVER, CO — August 22, 2018
A Colorado man who was charged in the murder of his pregnant wife and two young daughters told investigators that he killed his wife after she strangled the children. The family was living in the tiny former mining town of Frederick, a bedroom community of 13,000 people.
According to the affidavit of the accused, he came back home when Shanann Watts, 34, threw increasingly louder tantrums due to the fact that she thought Chris Watts, 33, had betrayed her with his co-worker. Watts announced that he wanted a separation and the woman started to strangle their daughters Bella and Celeste
“While in the bedroom, via a baby monitor located on Shanann’s nightstand, he observed Bella ‘sprawled’ out on her bed, blue, and Shanann actively strangling Celeste,” Frederick Police Officer Matthew James wrote in the affidavit.
James continued, saying Chris went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.
Watts was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. He is being held without bond and is set to return to court on Tuesday.
The children were reported missing by a family friend on Tuesday from their home in Frederick, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Denver.
"This is absolutely the worst possible outcome that anyone could imagine," John Camper, director for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, told a press conference. "As horrible as this outcome is, our role now is to do everything we can to determine exactly what occurred."
Before confessing to the murders, Watts appeared on TV to speak about his missing children.
He added that he was torn up inside about his family going missing and pleaded for their return.
“I just want them to come back,” Watts told. “My kids are my life. Those smiles light up my life. I want everybody to just come home.”
Watts later confessed to detectives that he had disposed of the bodies by loading them into his pickup truck and driving them to a field. The affidavit says Watts told police where the remains could be found.
Prosecutors say the body of Shanann Watts was discovered buried in a shallow grave and his daughters had been stuffed into oil tanks at the facility where Chris Watts worked until his arrest.
Shanann's relatives revealed she was pregnant with a baby boy who they were going to name Nico.
"I just want to know why," Shanann Watts' brother, Frankie Rzucek wrote on Facebook. "My precious family my one and only sibling, my sister Shanann, 2 adorable nieces Bella and Celeste and her soon to be found out unborn son Niko."
Family friends who stood by the husband said they were shocked to hear of his arrest. They said that it was a very kind, exemplary family, Shanann loved her husband more than anything in the world.
Neither Watts nor his court-appointed attorney has commented publicly on the case since his arrest. He was due in court on Tuesday for an arraignment on the charges.