Affidavit in Colorado murder case likely to be unsealed Monday

FREDERICK, Colorado — The affidavit detailing what lead to the arrest of murder suspect Chris Watts, 33, could be unsealed Monday, detectives told KDVR in Denver.

The affidavit could shed light on how Watts’ pregnant wife, Shannan, 34, and two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella, were killed.

The deadline to file charges against Watts is Monday afternoon. He’s likely to face murder and tampering with a body charges.

The bodies of two young girls were submerged in crude oil for four days before authorities discovered them, according to court documents filed by Watts’ attorney.

The motion filed Friday by James Merson, also asked that DNA swabs be taken from the girls’ necks. The request quotes an expert who believes the oil would not eliminate DNA and said samples can be obtained “after strangulation.”

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.

Police did not release any information about how the mother and daughters died. More testing is planned to help determine the cause of their deaths.

Police arrested Watt late Wednesday on suspicion of killing his wife and children. Their bodies were found on Thursday on property owned by Andarko Petroleum, one of Colorado’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Watts worked as an operator.

Before his arrest, Watts had gone on TV to plead for his wife and daughters to come home.

KDVR reported that the family was planning a gender reveal party at their home that was scheduled for this past Saturday.