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A Colorado man faces three counts of murder after his pregnant wife and two young daughters disappeared this week, authorities said.

Posted: Aug 17, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2018 4:34 PM

A Colorado man faces three counts of murder after his pregnant wife and two young daughters disappeared this week, authorities said Thursday.

Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday night and is being held in the Weld County Jail, north of Denver, the Frederick Police Department said in a statement.

Shanann Watts, who was 15-weeks pregnant, was reported missing on Monday along with her two daughters, Bella, 3, and Celeste, 4.

Watts faces three counts of murder in the first degree and three counts of tampering with physical evidence, according to the Weld County Jail in Colorado.

"At this point we have been able to recover a body that we're quite certain is Shanann Watts' body," Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director John Camper said Thursday at a news conference. "We have strong reason to believe that we know where the bodies of the children are and recovery efforts are in process on that."

In answer to a reporter's question, Camper confirmed the body was found on Anadarko Petroleum Corporation property.

Chris Watts is a former employee of the company, said Andarko spokesperson Jennifer Brice. She declined to say when he left the company.

Authorities didn't reveal a possible motive or other details in the case. A judge sealed the arrest affidavit, which might have provided that information.

Information on Watts' attorney was not immediately available.

What Chris Watts told reporter

CNN affiliate KMGH aired video showing Chris Watts' pickup truck being towed from the family's home overnight, as well as investigators removing items from the house in garbage bags.

In an interview with KMGH before his arrest, Chris Watts said his wife got home from a business trip about 2 a.m. Monday. The couple lived in Frederick, a town of about 8,600 people around 30 miles north of Denver.

When asked by the reporter if they argued, Watts said, "We had an emotional conversation, I'll leave it at that. I just want them back. I just want them to come back."

Watts said he left for work about 5:15 a.m. that day and said he wasn't concerned when Shanann didn't respond to his texts and phone calls because she was probably busy with her job, having just returned from being out of town.

But he said he became worried when one of her friends contacted him around noon and said Shanann wasn't responding to messages.

"I walked in the house and -- nothing," Chris Watts told WHMG. "She wasn't here. The kids weren't here."

"She said she was going to a friend's house with the kids and that's the last thing I heard, and that was it. It was very vague," he told reporters.

FBI involved in case

An unidentified friend told CNN affiliate KDVR that she dropped off Shanann Watts at home about 2 a.m. Monday after they returned from a work trip, and watched her go into the house.

The two planned to meet later, but Watts, 34, didn't answer her phone or show up for a doctor's appointment, the friend said.

Police have not provided details on the disappearance, but said they conducted a welfare check after Watts' friend called and requested one.

The FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation were involved in the arrest, Frederick police said.

When asked if other people were involved, Camper said, "In terms of any danger to the community, were not concerned about that at all."

Brother posts on Facebook

Frankie Rzucek, who is identified on Shanann Watts' Facebook page as her brother, posted overnight on his page saying he just wanted "to know why."

"I just want 30 seconds alone with that heartless psychopath. May Satan have mercy on his soul," Rzucek wrote. "Doesn't take a genius to know who was suspect."

Le-Vel, a "health and wellness" company Shanann Watts worked for, according to her public Facebook page, has posted a message regarding Watts and her two daughters.

"Our hearts are broken for the loss of our dear friend Shanann Watts and her children. Shanann was an amazing woman, mother, friend, and overall person. She lit up every room and was a joy to be around. ... Shanann and her children will be dearly missed. We honor them on this sorrowful day."

A statement from Andarko, released by Brice, said: "We are heartbroken by this, and our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones and friends of the Watts family. We will continue to support law enforcement in its investigation. He is no longer an employee and given that the investigation is ongoing, please direct all questions to law enforcement."

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Chris Watts' legal standing. Watts has been arrested but not yet charged with murder.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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