Colorado suspect says he killed wife after he saw her strangling daughter, affidavit says

GREELEY, Colo. — In an arrest affidavit, Christopher Watts claims he caught his wife, Shanann Watts, strangling one of their daughters to death before he strangled her in “a rage," according to KDVR.

The document said Christopher was “actively involved” in an affair with a co-worker which he admitted to after initially denying the affair, according to prosecutors.

According to the document, Shanann arrived home from a work trip at 2 a.m. Christopher said he woke up for work at 5 a.m., and they began having an “emotional conversation” about separating.

Christopher told investigators he initiated the conversation and wanted to separate.

Christopher said he went downstairs for a moment after the conversation and, when he returned to the couple’s bedroom, he claims he saw, via baby monitor, Bella “sprawled out” on her bed and blue in the face, then he claims he saw Shanann “actively strangling” Celeste via a baby monitor in the room.

He claims he went into a rage and strangled Shanann to death. Christopher said he then loaded the bodies  just before 5:30 a.m. onto his work truck.

Christopher was formally charged with nine felony counts, including three counts of first-degree murder after deliberation on Monday.

The body of Shanann, 34, was recovered Thursday in a shallow grave near an oil tank on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Christopher worked as an operator.

Officials said Thursday night they found the bodies of the girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. Court documents said the girls were found in an oil well in close proximity to their mother’s body.

Court documents filed by defense lawyer James Merson said the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.

The Weld County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identities on Friday. The cause of their deaths has not been made public.

Defense attorneys asked for DNA samples from the girls’ necks by their own experts, but the motion was denied. The judge did approve a motion compelling the pathologist to take DNA swabs of the necks of the children and to provide the results to the defense team.

Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and her daughters were reported missing at 1:40 p.m. on Aug. 13. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued a missing-endangered alert for the three on Tuesday.

The Frederick Police Department, the CBI and the FBI canvassed the area before arresting Christopher on Wednesday night.

A close friend has said she dropped off Shanann at home about 2 a.m. Monday when they got home from a work trip. She saw her go inside.

She said the two friends were supposed to meet later in the day, but Shanann didn’t answer her phone.

Christopher said in an interview Tuesday he didn’t know where his wife and daughters were.