Shanann Watts' fetus had been expelled from her body that was buried in shallow grave by husband Chris Watts
A complete autopsy of the victims of Chris Watts – his daughters Bella and Celeste, and wife Shanann Watts — revealed that Shanann's fetus had been expelled from her body, which was buried in a shallow grave.
Watts, a 33-year-old Colorado oil worker, killed his wife, Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, along with his two daughters aged three and four on August 13, 2018. Watts, who had initially reported them missing and had made a public plea for their return, was arrested as he admitted to killing them. It was later discovered that Watts was having an affair with a fellow co-worker at the oil company. He dumped the bodies of his children in two oil tankers, where he worked. The bodies were found four days later. Shanann’s body was recovered from a shallow grave near the tankers.
The graphic autopsy reports, released by the Weld County Coroner, detailed the condition of all the three bodies that were recovered from an oil site owned by Anadarko Petroleum. All three autopsies cite the cause of death as the "asphyxiation due to manual strangulation by another individual. The manner of death is homicide." Shanann's autopsy, however, revealed a heartbreaking detail about the child she was carrying at the time of the murder.
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The autopsy states the mother's internal genitalia was protruding and there was a tissue attached to it that had largely decomposed. After they probed it, they found it to be the fetus that had expelled out of her body post her death. The experts couldn't determine its gender given the condition of the fetus and it was given to the CBI for genetic analysis. Although the experts couldn't determine the gender of the baby, it is publicly known that the Watts were expecting a baby boy and had named him Niko.
"The external genitalia are largely normal adult female, however, the internal genitalia are protruding through the vaginal vault," the autopsy stated. "This likely represents prolapse of the uterus due to pregnancy and postmortem artifact. Adjacent to the probable uterus is a largely degraded portion of tissue that is unfortunately covered in sandy debris from the gravesite. Upon further examination of this tissue, itis revealed to be a largely decomposed fetus. Gender and age cannot be determined, however, it has the following measurements: crown/rumplength of approximately 10.5 cm and a foot length of approximately 0.7- 0.8 cm. There is an approximate 17 cm umbilical cord extending to disrupted placental disc. The membranes are ruptured and covered with sandy debris. Portions of the placenta, umbilical cord and membranes will be retained and the fetus will be transferred to the jurisdiction of CBI for subsequent genetic analysis."
Watts had initially attempted to pin the murders of her children on his wife when he first confessed to murdering Shanann. However, he has since pleaded guilty to killing his daughters and wife. Watts was formally charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. However, he later entered a guilty plea in exchange for five life sentences without parole.