WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Christopher Watts, the Colorado dad who’s been accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters, has been formally charged on Monday.
- According to an arrest affidavit, Watts told police that he “went into a rage” and killed his wife, Shanann, after discovering she had strangled their two daughters.
- He admitted burying Shanann at an oil work site and hid the two girls’ bodies inside oil tanks.
Prosecutors have formally charged Christopher Watts, 33, of three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murdering a child, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
According to an arrest affidavit, Watts admitted to murdering his wife, Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time.
The affidavit, released shortly after he was charged, states that Watts told police that when Shanann, 34, returned from a business trip early on the morning of Aug. 13, he told her that he wanted to separate.
He said he went downstairs after the emotional conversation, but when he returned to their room, he saw Shanann strangling their 3-year-old daughter Celeste from a baby monitor. He added that 4-year-old Bella was already looking blue, sprawled on her bed.
Watts said he “went into a rage” and strangled his wife to death.
Then, he put all three bodies into his truck and drove to an oil work site. He buried his wife in a shallow grave and dumped the bodies of his two daughters inside oil tanks.
A request to collect DNA from the necks of the children by Watts’ defense attorney was denied by a judge on Friday.
Autopsies have been reportedly completed but they were not released yet.
The arrest affidavit was sealed at prosecutors’ request until Monday. After nine felony charges were filed against Watts, a judge granted prosecutors’ request to unseal it, according to the Associated Press.
Before Watts was arrested, he spoke to local TV stations about the disappearance of his wife and daughters. He even lamented about missing them and wanted them back.
The police found the bodies late Thursday on a property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Watts had worked as an operator. Separate documents filed by Watts’ defense lawyer said the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.
The affidavit also states that Watts gave police an aerial photograph of the oil work site and identified the locations where he placed the bodies. Investigators used a drone to search the area and spotted a bed sheet that matched other linens found in the family home, along with fresh dirt, AP reported.
Watts is being held without bail and will next appear in court in November.