Colorado man arrested after reportedly confessing to killing pregnant wife and two young daughters

Michael Perchick Image
Friday, August 17, 2018

FREDERICK, Colo. -- Authorities say bodies believed to be a pregnant woman and her two young children were found on the property of one of Colorado's largest oil and gas drillers where her husband used to work.

(1 of 19)

John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, told reporters Thursday that investigators have found Shanann Watts' body and were trying to recover what they believe are the bodies of 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. property.

Christopher Watts, 33, is charged with three counts of murder in connection to the deaths of his 34-year-old wife Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella. He was taken into custody Wednesday in Frederick, Colorado, a town 28 miles north of Denver.


His pay stubs show he was working for Anadarko in 2015.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

The family has strong ties to North Carolina. Shanann Watts is from Moore County and attended Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. Her family still lives in North Carolina. Chris Watts went to Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville and graduated in 2003.

"I don't know why he would want to kill her, the wife and the two kids," said Joe Beach, a neighbor of the family in Aberdeen. "Like I said, the two kids were nice kids. I don't know. To me, it's a senseless murder, and she was looking forward to that third child. Because she was pregnant with a boy. "

Shanann and the two young girls were reported missing Monday.

Popular breakfast foods test positive for weed killer ingredient
Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, dies at age 76

"You know this is a senseless-type thing," Beach said. "I have chickens in the back, (the daughters) came over, played with the chickens and the mom and dad are very good people. Everybody in the neighborhood knows them.

"Knowing her, and knowing the type of person she is, or I should say she was ... I'm surprised that this happened," Beach added. "And I really hate it."

Chris Watts spoke previously with Denver TV outlets about missing his family and his hopes for their safe return. He said his wife returned home about 2 a.m. Monday after a flight for a work trip was delayed.

Chris Watts speaks to camera crew 24 hours before being taken into custody

He said the two had an "emotional conversation" before he left for work a few hours later and that he became concerned after she did not return his calls or texts or that of her friends. He said he came home to an empty house after a friend knocked on the door at noon and got no answer.

He told KMGH-TV about how traumatic it was to spend the night in the family's unusually quiet home and missing telling his daughters to eat their dinner and turning on their bedroom monitors.

"Last night I had every light in the house on. I was hoping that I would just get ran over by the kids running in the door, just barrel-rushing me, but it didn't happen," he said.

Shanann's Facebook account painted a portrait of a happy family, with a constant feed of photos and videos of her family, friends and herself. Her comments were typically upbeat, saying how happy she was, whether she was running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program.

She posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, in front of the ocean on vacation and at their house. On one from May 5, she wrote: "I love this man! He's my ROCK!"

She posted a photo on June 19 of some texts with her husband after sending him a sonogram. He replied that he loved the baby already. She posted: "I love Chris! He's the best dad us girls could ask for."

Shanann moved to Colorado from North Carolina with her husband in 2012, according to property records and her social media accounts.

She had been in a hurry to sell a house in Belmont, west of Charlotte, and left behind the furniture as part of the sale, said the man who bought it, Byron Falls.

Watts has since been booked into the Weld County Jail under three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.