Detectives Believe Colorado Dad Murdered His 2 Girls Before His Pregnant Wife Even Got Home


chris watts

Chris Watts, the Colorado murder suspect charged with killing his pregnant wife and their two young children, may have murdered his little girls before his wife returned from a business trip, new reports say. Earlier this week, court documents showed Watts was trying to pin the deaths of his daughters on his wife, saying he saw her strangling them on the baby monitor and then killed her in a "fit of rage." But during Watts's arraignment, the timeline put forth shows the girls may have been killed as much as a day before their mother's tragic death.

  • Charges read during Watts's arraignment indicate Shanann Watts was killed on August 13 but her girls were killed sometime between August 12 and 13.

    chris watts arraignment

    As Fox 30 reports, Shanann Watts was gone on business trip until around 2 a.m. August 13. That means Watts could have killed their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, as much as 24 hours before his wife's return and been waiting to carry out the rest of his crime upon her arrival.

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  • Watts's story that his wife could have been responsible for murdering their daughters has been met with skepticism.

    Investigators charged the man with three counts of first-degree murder, plus two additional first-degree murder charges for causing the death of a child younger than 12. First-degree murder charges show that investigators believe all three deaths were willful and premeditated. Watts has also been charged with three counts of tampering with a body and one count of first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the death of his unborn son.

    Michelle Greer, a woman who spent time with the family at Myrtle Beach two weeks before the murders, told USA Today that Shanann was an engaged, involved, and loving mother, whereas Chris seemed eerily distant.

    “She was wonderful with the girls,” Greer said. “She told me she was expecting; she was very happy. She was very engaged with her little girls. ... He didn’t seem engaged at all. There wasn’t any affection. She [Shanann] was very engaged with the girls, and he was just kind of standing there.”

  • Shanann's family was present in the court room as charges were read, and her father wept openly.

    “We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters and Niko,” the father, Frank Rzucek, said in an earlier press conference. “Thank you, everyone, for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. Keep the prayers coming for our family."

  • The murder of Shanann and her girls came just after a CDC report that showed over half of female homicide victims are killed by intimate partners.

    Chris Watts

    According to the report from the Centers for Control and Disease Prevention, as noted by NPR, 55 percent of female homicides are related to partner violence and the overwhelming majority of those partners are male. Worldwide, the World Health Organization says a partner or spouse is the killer in 38 percent of women's homicides.

    An official cause of death has not been released in the murders of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste Watts, though authorities have reason to believe the two little girls were strangled. No motive has been released either, though Chris Watts also confessed to having an affair with a coworker, and authorities uncovered that Chris and Shanann were struggling with debt in the months leading up to the murders.

    Watts is being held without bond at Weld County Jail on the outskirts of Greeley, Colorado.