Local News

Chris Watts describes 'nightmare' of family missing before murder charges

Posted November 30, 2018 2:16 p.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2018 2:30 p.m. EST

New video from police sheds light on what led police to arrest a Colorado man after his family disappeared.

Chris Watts, a Fayetteville native, was ultimately convicted of killing his wife and children and sentenced to life in prison.

Because Watts pleaded guilty, there was no trial. The video, released by the district attorney handling the case, shows some of the evidence that investigators used to solve the murders.

A neighbor's security video shows Watts backing his pickup truck into the garage around 5:30 on Aug. 13, just after murdering his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their daughters, Celeste and Bella.

Watts eventually admitted he loaded their bodies into the truck and dumped them in an oilfield.

In a video from the following day, Watts tells an FBI agent that Shannan told him she had plans with the children.

“That’s when I rolled out of bed, and she pretty much said, ‘I’ll be taking the kids to a friend’s house, and I’ll be back later,’” he told the agent.

The next day, Aug. 15, Watts sat down with a polygraph examiner and said he felt sick to his stomach.

“It makes me think that there is somebody that's not keeping them safe or something terrible has happened,” he said. “That's the nightmare."

When the polygraph examiner asked what terrible thing could happen, Watts responded, “That someone might hurt them.”

Later that day, police learned Watts had lied about having an affair with a coworker.

He told police that he told his wife he wanted a separation.

Watts said he heard Shannan strangling their daughters and then he killed Shannan himself.

That night, police charged Watts with three counts of first-degree murder.

Police bodycam video from Aug. 16 shows officers and K9 units searching Watts’ home.

Investigators found the bodies of Shanann, Celeste and Bella that day.