Chris Watts allegedly strangled his daughters to death before putting bodies in oil well, court documents reveal
The formal charges against Watts are due to be filed on August 20 by Michael Rourke, the Weld County District Attorney
The documents filed by the defense attorneys on August 17 for the Colorado man who was accused of allegedly murdering his pregnant wife and two children reportedly suggests the two young children may have been strangled to death.
Thirty three-year-old Christopher Watts from Frederick, Colorado, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with a deceased body in connection with the deaths of 34-year-old Shanann, his wife, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. The formal charges against Watts are due to be filed on August 20 by Michael Rourke, the Weld County District Attorney.
According to the court documents that were obtained by 9NEWS, the bodies of the children had been "in an oil well filled with crude oil" for about four days before they were found by the authorities. James Merson, the defense attorney, wrote in a motion that he had spoken to Richard Eikelenboom, a DNA expert, regarding the find.
The requests that Merson made in the motions were mainly focused on making sure that the pathologist conducting the post-mortem examinations take DNA swabs of the children's necks. The autopsies were scheduled to be completed on August 17. Merson had also requested that the DNA expert be present while the post-mortem examinations were being conducted.
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". Another thing that Merson also requested for was that some DNA samples be taken from the hands and nails of the mother as well as the nails of the children.
The authorities had said that Shanann's body had been discovered on the property that is owned by Anadarko Petroleum where Chris worked as an operator. Anadarko is one of Colorado's largest oil and gas drillers. The investigators on the case also found what they believe to be the bodies of the two children close by on August 16.
The Weld County District Attorney's Office is going to determine in the following weeks if a death penalty is to be sought against Chris. The deadline that has been given to file the charges is on August 20.