• Colorado father charged with killing pregnant wife, two daughters, says wife killed children

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    DENVER -

    A Colorado father accused of killing his pregnant wife and their two young children appeared in court Tuesday to hear the charges against him.

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    Chris Watts, 33, faces five counts of murder, one for his wife and two for each of his daughters, as they were victims younger than 12, according to KCNC-TV. Prosecutors also charged him with one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, KUSA reported.

    Shanann Watts, 34, and her daughters were reported missing on Aug. 13.

    These photos were provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and show, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The three were reported missing Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP)
    These photos were provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and show, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The three were reported missing Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP)

    Update 12:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: Dressed in an orange jumpsuit with his hands and ankles in cuffs, Chris Watts appeared in court Tuesday morning.

    Shanann Watts' father, Frank Rzucek Sr., shook visibly Tuesday as District Judge Marcelo Kopcow read the formal charges against Christopher Watts.

    Shanann's brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., rubbed his father's shoulders and glared unflinchingly at his brother-in-law. A bailiff stood between them.

    Chris Watts has been denied bond.

    Original report: Shanann Watts, who was pregnant, was found in a shallow grave Thursday. Her daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were found hidden inside oil tanks on property owned by the Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Chris Watts worked for the oil and gas exploration company, according to officials.

    Chris Watts, who reportedly confessed to the murders, was jailed without bail. He was expected in court Tuesday to hear the charges against him. . 

    According to an affidavit released Monday, Chris Watts claimed Shanann Watts strangled their children and that he flew into a rage afterward and strangled her, KCNC-TV reported, then he removed the bodies of all three from the home, taking them to the property where he worked.

    Investigators believe the children were killed sometime between Aug. 12 and Aug. 13. Shanann Watts was out of town on a business trip until around 2 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 13.

    Investigators also said they discovered Chris Watts was having an affair with a co-worker, which KCNC-TV reported he denied in earlier interviews.

    This booking photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts. Watt's pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were reported missing Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP)
    This booking photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts. Watt's pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were reported missing Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP)

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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