Shanann Watts Case: Autopsies Completed for Slain Mother and Young Daughters

Shanann Watts and girls

The autopsy reports for Shanann Watts and her daughters, Bella and Celeste, have been completed and given to prosecutors in Colorado, officials said.

Weld County prosecutors, as well as the attorneys representing Chris Watts, have been given copies of the reports detailing how the pregnant mother and her two young children were killed, a notice filed Monday with the Weld County District Court said. 

The reports took almost two months to complete, as Shanann, 34, Celeste, 4, and Bella, 3, were believed to have been killed on Aug. 12 or 13, allegedly by Chris, their husband and father.

Details in the report were unavailable, as the autopsies remain sealed at the request of the prosecutor’s office. 

District Attorney Michael Rourke previously argued disclosing the coroner’s observations made in the autopsies had the potential to taint witnesses or impact the prospective juror pool in the high-profile case.  

The bodies of Shanann and her two daughters were found on property belonging to Anadarko Petroleum Company. Celeste and Bella were discovered inside an oil tank, while Shanann was buried nearby in a shallow grave, authorities said. 

Chris was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in their deaths. 

He claimed his wife killed Celeste and Bella and that he, in turn, strangled her in a rage when he realized what she had done, police said.  

Watts remained jailed in Weld County while awaiting a status conference on Nov. 19.


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