Chris Watts Formally Charged With Killing Pregnant Wife, 2 Daughters

Mourners gathered in front of a memorial for a candle-lit vigil for Shanann Watts and her two daughters Bella 4 and Celeste 3 in front of the Watts’s home on Friday in Frederick Colo

Chris Watts Formally Charged With Killing Pregnant Wife, 2 Daughters

The Colorado man believed to have murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters last Monday has been formally charged with the killings.

Watts faces 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.

In an arrest affidavit also released Monday, police say Watts told them he "went into a rage" and strangled his wife, Shannan, to death after he saw footage on their baby monitor of her strangling their daughter Celeste, 3, and of their other daughter Bella, 4, "sprawled out on her bed and blue". The document also says police confirmed that Christopher Watts was having an affair with a co-worker, something he denied in earlier conversations with investigators.

Christopher Watts, who is being held without bail, is due back in court on Tuesday morning to be advised of the charges filed against him.

Watts, according to the affidavit, said he "went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death".

The friend discovered that Shanann Watts' auto was parked in the garage and could not get past a latch on the front door, so she called Chris Watts and asked him to come home, fearing Shanann had suffered some kind of medical issue, according to the affidavit.

In subsequent interviews with police, however, Watts changed his story.

Shanann Watts, 34, and her two daughters ages 3 and 4 were reported missing.

Family and friends have said they were shocked by the slayings, saying the family seemed happy and Christopher Watts appeared to be a good father. "She very much loved her family and wanted to be a family", Atkinson said.

The location where their bodies were found on August 15 was the site of a petroleum and natural gas company where Chris Watts had worked, authorities said. Watts was taken into custody late that day by the Frederick Police Department.

Chris and Shanann Watts detailed their life on social media.

Judge Marcelo Kopcow denied several motions from defense attorneys, including a request to require pathologists to swab the little girls' necks, throats and hands for DNA.

In a video posted on Facebook on 11 June, she filmed her husband's reaction as she revealed she was pregnant with the couple's third child.

Atkinson said she contacted Chris Watts, but he didn't seem as anxious as she thought he should be. "I just want them back".

"We had an emotional conversation, I'll leave it at that", Watts told a reporter who asked whether they'd argued. "I want everybody to just come home".

Watts said he left for work about 5:15 a.m. that day and wasn't concerned when his wife didn't respond to his texts and phone calls since she'd just returned from being out of town.

Chris and Shanann Watts faced financial problems in recent years and filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

"I didn't find out that they were going to separate or anything like that until I called Chris that morning", she told ABC. The bodies of his two children were discovered nearby on the property, submerged in crude oil, according to the Associated Press, where they may have been hidden for days.

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