Chris Watts initially claimed he killed his wife after she allegedly strangled their two young daughters, but it seems the authorities believe the 4- and 3-year-old were dead even before Shanann Watts came home!
As Chris Watts, 33, stood in a Colorado courtroom on Aug. 21, a judge recited the charges against the man accused of killing his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and their two daughters – Bella Watts, 4, and Celeste Watts, 3. Among the nine felony charges, there were two for “killing a child under the age of 12 while the defendant was in a position of trust.” While Chris allegedly killed Shanann on Aug. 13, the charges allege that Chris killed Bella and Celetes “Between and including Aug. 12 and Aug. 13,” according to the Daily Mail.
This may mean that Chris allegedly killed his two daughters before Shanann returned home from an out-of-state business trip. If so, this puts a whole different, albeit terrifying, spin on the timeline surrounding this tragedy. Chris, in the arrest affidavit, claimed that went into a rage and strangled his pregnant wife after he saw her strangling Celeste via the baby monitor. He also claims he saw Bella “sprawled” out on her bed and blue. It appears, from these charges, that the investigators don’t believe Chris’s version of events.
The autopsy results have not been released, and when they are, it should help put together a better timeline of the events that left two children and one 15-weeks pregnant woman dead. As for possible motives behind this murder, that remains unclear. Chris told the police that on the morning of Aug. 13, he had an emotional, but civil conversation with his wife about pursuing a separation. He claims that they had not argued, but they were both upset and crying, per CNN. Investigators later discovered he was “actively involved” in an affair with a co-worker.
Shanann, Bella and Celeste were buried in three separate locations. After loading their lifeless bodies into his truck, he allegedly drove to an oil worksite belonging to Anadarko Petroleum company, where Chris worked. He allegedly buried his wife near two tanks. He reportedly dumped the two little girls inside the oil tanks, possibly as a method to hide the smell of decay.
Prior to confessing to killing his wife, Chris appeared on the Today show to appear like the “distraught husband,” begging for his then-missing wife to come home. “I just want them back. I just want them to come back. If they’re not safe right now, that’s what’s tearing me apart.” This “panicked husband turned potential killer” has drawn comparisons to Scott Peterson, 45, who was convicted of murdering his eight-month-pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, in 2002.