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Chris Watts Formally Charged With Nine Felonies, Including First-Degree Murder of Wife Shanann and Two Daughters

Colorado Man Charged With Murdering Pregnant Wife and Daughters Filed for Bankruptcy in 2015
Chris WattsFrederick Police Department

Chris Watts has been formally charged with nine felonies, including first-degree murder for allegedly killing his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two young daughters.

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Chris was charged on Monday, August 20, with five counts of murder in the first degree (he received two additional charges because his daughters are under the age of 12), one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the first degree and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, according to the court document obtained by Us Weekly. Shanann’s father, Frank Rzucek Sr., and her and brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., attended the press conference on Monday.

“Good afternoon everybody,” Frank Sr. began. “We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters and [Shanann’s unborn son] Niko. Thank you everyone for coming out to the candle lightvigil and saying all of your prayers. They are greatly appreciated and keep the prayers coming for our family. Thank you very much.”

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As previously reported, the 33-year-old Colorado man was taken into custody on Wednesday, August 15, days after Shanann, 34, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their two young daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, went missing from their home in Frederick, Colorado. Officers found Shanann’s body at her husband’s former place of employment Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The young girls’ bodies were later discovered in a Weld County oil tank, not far from where their mother was found in a shallow grave.

The Denver Post reported that a motion filed on Friday, August 17, appeared to indicate that the children had been strangled and asked for DNA swabs to be made of their necks and hands as well as their mother’s hands and nails. The motion was denied.

Shanann’s family previously claimed in a statement to CBS Denver that Chris “confessed to the killings.” Police however, have neither confirmed nor denied he admitted to the murders. Shanann’s brother Frank Jr. also spoke out on Facebook after Chris was arrested.

Related: Stars at Court

“I don’t know what to say. Just that my sister and nieces are loved by so many. Its hard to find reasoning for such things. ‘Find the positive in the negative’ she says. Thank you Shanann for all that you’ve done and continue to do and I’m honored to call you my sister,” Frank Jr. wrote on Saturday, August 18. “My prayers to his family. I pray people don’t harass them or wish harm on anyone. God will take care of everyone and everything. They are our family and are hurting just as much. Don’t just pray for us, pray that everyone finds peace and love in their hearts through these unimaginable circumstances.”

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