In a stunning development Monday, unsealed affidavits reveal that Chris Watts confessed to murdering his wife, but told police he did it because she had strangled and killed their two daughters.
'This house is not complete...'
It took a week for charges to be filed against the husband after 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella, disappeared.
She had been last seen when her friend dropped her off at her home after a work trip to Arizona on Aug. 13. She missed a doctor's appointment later that day and police made a welfare check at the home at 1:30 p.m.
Watts, 33, had been interviewed Tuesday about the disappearance of his pregnant wife and their two daughters. He tearfully appealed to the camera, asking that they be returned home.
“Shanann, Bella, Celeste: If you’re out there, just come back," he said. "Like if somebody has her, just bring her back. I need to see everybody... This house is not complete without anybody here. Please bring ‘em back."
He was taken into police custody Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, a body was discovered at a petroleum company where Chris Watts had worked. Later, it was confirmed to be that of Shanann Watt. And the bodies of the two daughters were found near their mother's remains.
On Monday, Chris Watts was formally charged with the murders.
In the unsealed affidavit, police allege that Chris Watts was having an affair, though he initially denied the claim. Watts told the police that he murdered his wife, but that he had flown into a rage because she had strangled their daughters.
According to police, he told them that he had talked with his wife about his desire to separate from her. When he came back from going downstairs, she had already strangled one daughter, and was in the act of killing the other.
He told police that he flew into a rage, killed her, and loaded her body onto his truck.
Here's the CNN report about the stunning development:
A friend of the family told People magazine that Shanann Watts was very devoted to her family.
“She talked about her girls as miracles, because she had some health problems and didn’t know if she’d have kids," said Kris Landon. "But she really embraced motherhood, and I thought she embraced her marriage, too. They seemed like partners. Amazing partners.”
Chris Watts was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and one felony count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
Shanann Watts had been 15 weeks pregnant when she was killed.