Man held on suspicion of killing wife, two kids in Colorado

Christopher Watts, 33, was taken into custody late on Aug 15 for the suspected murder of his wife Shanann Watts, 34, and of the couple's children.
Christopher Watts, 33, was taken into custody late on Aug 15 for the suspected murder of his wife Shanann Watts, 34, and of the couple's children. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ SHANANN WATTS

COLORADO (REUTERS) - A Colorado man, who earlier this week had pleaded for the safe return of his missing pregnant wife and their two young daughters, has been arrested on suspicion of their murders, police said on Thursday (Aug 16).

The body of a woman, believed to be the spouse of Christopher Watts, 33, has been recovered, authorities said.

Watts was taken into custody late on Wednesday for the suspected murder of his wife Shanann Watts, 34, and of the couple's children. Police said they believed they would soon recover the bodies of the daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.

"This is absolutely the worst possible outcome that any of us could imagine," John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said at a news briefing about the incident in Frederick, about 50km north of Denver.

The body that was recovered was on a property owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp, police said. Local news media said the property was where Watts worked.

Authorities did not offer many details on the case in order not to compromise their investigation.

Officials also declined to comment on local news media reports that Watts had confessed to the killings.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke told the same news conference that his office had until Monday to file formal charges against Watts.

Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and in shackles, Watts made a brief appearance in court and was ordered held without bail until at least his next court appearance next week, local news media reported. He did not speak to reporters.

Prosecutors said at court they believe the wife and the two daughters were killed at their home, local TV station Denver 7 reported from the courthouse.

On Tuesday, Watts said in an interview with Denver 7 that he was torn up inside about his family going missing and pleaded for their return.

"I just want them to come back," Watts told the broadcaster."My kids are my life. Those smiles light up my life. I want everybody to just come home."

On Tuesday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation released an endangered missing alert for the wife and the two daughters.