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Chris Watts Charged With First-Degree Murder In Slaying Of Pregnant Wife Shanann, Children Bella And Celeste
Just days after Chris Watts' emotional pleas for his family's return, prosecutors revealed a slew of felony charges against him.
The Colorado man believed to have murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters last Monday has been formally charged with the killings.
Chris Watts was charged on Monday with nine felonies, including first-degree murder, after investigators say he killed his wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and their two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, according to the criminal complaint and information revealed by Colorado prosecutors.
The family's causes of death have not been made public.
Watts, 33, also faces one count of first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, according to the filings.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday morning to face the charges.
Watts’ family was reported missing last week by Nicole Atkinson, a family friend, who had dropped Shanann off at her Frederick home after a business trip around 2 a.m. on Monday and couldn’t get in touch with her the next day.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued a missing-endangered alert for the three, and the FBI joined the search.
Meanwhile, Chris Watts, 33, Shanann’s husband and the father of Bella and Celeste, appeared on TV and pleaded for his family’s return.
On Thursday, Shanann’s body was found on a site owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Watts worked as an operator. 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.
Weld County prosecutors believe the three were killed inside the family home on Monday, and arrested Watts on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with evidence a day later, according to the Denver Post.
Two police sources told a local investigative reporter that Watts confessed to the killings, according to Denver 7, the local ABC affiliate.
A family friend, Nicole Atkinson, told “Good Morning America” on Monday that Chris acted unconcerned and suspicious after his family went missing.
“He was defending himself, but it just didn’t make sense. Like in that moment it is kind of surreal,” Atkinson told “Good Morning America.”
“He was just sitting there waiting for something to happen; it just didn’t seem right to me.”
She added that she wasn’t shocked by Watts’ arrest. Atkinson said she called him before the bodies were found — and he allegedly revealed to her that he and Shanann were thinking about separating.