Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Some members of Colorado family may have been strangled, court documents reveal

Some members of Colorado family may have been strangled, court documents reveal

Shanann Watts was working in a call centre at a children's hospital at the time, earning about $18 an hour - more for evenings, weekends or extra shifts she sometimes worked. A makeshift memorial with flowers and stuffed animals was growing outside the Watts' house. Krista Henery, a spokeswoman for the Weld County District Attorney's Office, said the formal filing of charges is not expected until at least Monday.

Authorities separately announced that the Weld County Coroner's Office had performed autopsies on Friday and confirmed the bodies as 34-year-old Shanann, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste Watts.

Family and friends of Shanann Watts are left searching for answers, trying to reconcile Watts' cheery Facebook posts about her daughters, her pregnancy and her love for her husband with the pending charges.

Police said the mother, Shanann, was found dead on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the state's largest oil and gas drillers, where 33-year-old Christopher Watts worked as an operator.

Police said they conducted a welfare check after Watts' friend called and requested one.

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.

Shanann Watts was last seen at 2 a.m. Monday by a colleague who dropped her off from a work trip.

The killings have shaken the commuter community of Frederick, a former mining town of 13,000 people.

"I'm just hoping right now that she's somewhere safe." he said. "We had an emotional conversation, I'll leave it at that".

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Chris Watts worked at Anadarko for an unspecified amount of time but was terminated on August 15, 2018, a spokesperson for the company said.

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

Chris Watts walks into a Weld County courtroom on Thursday. "She wasn't here. The kids weren't here". "It was very vague", he told reporters.

Nick and Amanda Thayer were close with the couple and let Chris Watts stay at their home once they learned that Shanann and their daughters were missing. Her brother took to Facebook to lash out at Watts, saying "I just want 30 seconds alone with that heartless psychopath". "Doesn't take a genius to know who was suspect".

Frankie Rzucek, who identified himself on his Facebook page as the brother of Shanann Watts, posted a message about 10:10 p.m. that read: "That piece of s-- may he rot in hell".

"Our hearts are broken for the loss of our dear friend Shanann Watts and her children".

Ashley Bell met Shanann Watts about two years ago, when the mother of two came into Bell's new tanning salon in nearby Dacono.

On Tuesday, the trio's disappearance was updated to an "Endangered Missing Alert", because there were some medical concerns with the missing children, according to CBI. The two women quickly became friends, and before long they were texting or calling each other nearly daily.

"We are heartbroken by this, and our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones and friends of the Watts family. We support each other and unite whether it is in tragedy or joy", said Rusty O'Neal, 42, town trustee, during the vigil. "He is no longer an employee and given that the investigation is ongoing, please direct all questions to law enforcement".

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