Editors’ pick

Where and how Chris Watts’ family was found

Chris Watts’ wife and daughters, missing for three days, were found dead last week on property of the Colorado man’s former employer.

Watts has been charged with their murders, as well as unlawful termination of a pregnancy, as his wife had been 15 weeks pregnant.

The Weld County district attorney has not yet decided if he will seek the death penalty. Watts’ next court date is Nov. 19.

The arrest affidavit (displayed below) reveals these details of the search for Shanann Watts and her daughters, Bella and Celeste:

• Chris Watts left his home in Frederick, Colo. — a bedroom community 20 miles north of Denver — around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 13. A few minutes earlier, a neighbor’s surveillance camera recorded him backing his pickup truck into the garage. Watts told police investigators he left that morning to go to a job site owned by his employer, the oil and gas drilling company Anadarko, about a 40-mile drive from his home.

• A friend of Shanann Watts came to the family’s house early that afternoon, because she had been unable to reach Shanann by phone. She then called both Chris Watts and the police. Chris Watts did not return home until after the police officer arrived at 1:40 p.m.

• When the woman and girls had not been found by 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, the police department launched an investigation, which included a drone search of the Anadarko work site, 12 miles northeast of Keenesburg. The search showed freshly disturbed earth. Investigators also found at that site a bedsheet that matched a sheet and pillow cases found in a trash can at the Wattses’ home.

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