Police bodycam footage, recorded during the early stages of the investigation into the Watts family disappearance, reveals Chris Watts lying to authorities about his missing wife and kids.
The footage, released by the Weld County District Attorney after Watts was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, shows an officer approaching him on the street the day the family went missing.
It’s a cloudless day when Watts is stopped on the street in front of his house, located in suburban Frederick, Colorado. Watts is standing by his pickup truck, the very vehicle he used to transport his family’s bodies to an oil site where he disposed of them. Although Watts appears to be cooperative, he does look nervous and sweaty. The officer asks him if he can search the house and Watts complies, leading him and at least two other officers inside the home.
One cop asks if Shanann has a passport, and Watts begins shifting around a lot.
“Yeah, I’m not sure where that is,” he answers, before pacing a bit.
He goes over the timeline of his wife’s disappearance, stuttering when talking about how the doorbell cam records people at the front door. He claims that the garage door was left open when he left for work but that a friend pf Shanann said it was shut when they came to the house that day looking for her, which he describes as “weird.”
Police note that the home seemed very neat, especially given that the couple had young children. The bodycam shows a meticulously kept house, with only one doll in sight in the living room.
Then, one officer notices some medication and an inhaler in the home’s office.
“The kids need their medication too and apparently she didn’t take their medication, either,” one officer states.
Celeste was allergic to nuts and needed an epipen for the allergy, which is described as “extreme” in court documents.
When police ask him if his children take medication, Watts states that Celeste has allergies but doesn’t go into specifics. He begins shifting his weight from leg to leg.
An officer asks Watts if someone has been sleeping in the basement and he replies that he's done so “a few times.” Meanwhile, he'd told his mistress that he had been sleeping down there for a long while, part of the the lie he told her that he and his wife were already planning to separate.
He also has an excuse for why the sheets were removed from the beds, claiming that Shanann likes to wash sheets after flying to get “the airport off of them.”
He tells officers about the “emotional” talk he'd had with Shanann about their separation, and claims that Shanann told him she was going to take the kids to a friend’s house, but that she didn’t say who. He says that conversation, which lasted about 40 minutes, happened in bed at 4 or 5 a.m., hours after she got home. He says he had that conversation with her in person because “he wanted to do it face to face.”
As for the friend, Watts says he has no idea who it could be.
“I’ve exhausted every option as far as friends go,” he tells the officers.
Police urge Watts to tell Shanann’s friends to call the police, that they don’t need to talk to him. “Whatever is going on between you guys, you can kind of figure that out,” one officer says.
Watts then claims to have called hospitals and hotels looking for his wife and says he's been having trouble logging into her bank account.
Just a few days later, police would discover the bodies of Watts' daughters and wife and charge him in their deaths soon thereafter.
[Photo: Weld County District Attorney’s Office]
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