Pregnant Shanann Watt's body was found in a shallow grave near where daughters were found, court documents reveal
The knowledge that the mother had been buried in a shallow grave came from a court filing that was filed by Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke
According to a court filing that was done earlier this week, the body of the murdered pregnant mother Shanann Watts was found in a shallow grave. Her husband Chris Watts is suspected of killing her and their two young daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.
A filing that was done earlier suggests that the two children were possibly strangled and it also says that their bodies were discovered in oil holding tanks. The bodies of two girls were submerged in crude oil for four days before authorities discovered them on Thursday, according to court documents.
The knowledge that the mother had been buried in a shallow grave came from a court filing that was filed by Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke as a response to the early motions that were filed by defense attorneys for Chris.
The defense lawyers had asked that a specific type of DNA testing be performed and that an expert from their side be allowed to be present for all kinds of testing. Aside from this, court documents have said that the prosecutors know the defense lawyers have found an expert to be at the autopsies of the victims, reported 9NEWS.
Prosecutors wrote in a motion that was filed on August 16, "The body of Defendant’s wife was located earlier this morning after being recovered from a shallow grave near an oil tank. Later this afternoon, law enforcement recovered the bodies of Defendant’s two daughters from inside oil tanks located near the grave of their mother. The Weld County Coroner has informed the prosecution that time is of the essence in conducting the autopsies, especially for the children given the period of time their bodies were submerged in oil."
Thirty-three-year-old Chris is currently being held without bail on the suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with a deceased body in the murders of his wife and two children.
The formal charges against him are expected to be filed on August 20.
James Merson, the defense attorney, wrote in a motion that he had spoken to Richard Eikelenboom, a DNA expert, regarding the find. According to one of the motions, Eikelenboom said, "In my opinion, the presence of oil will not destroy the DNA." He also referenced some methods that could have been used to preserve the DNA "after strangulation".
In one of the motions that was filed, Merson said that the time of the post-mortem examinations was crucial writing, "The autopsies for this case are scheduled to begin in 20 minutes." The motion had been filed on August 17 at 9.55 am.