Clues to a motive have emerged in Colorado man Chris Watts’ alleged murder of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters. A family friend tells People that Chris and Shanann Watts were having marital problems and she was getting ready to leave him. Social media postings show that Shanann Watts spent six weeks in her North Carolina hometown this summer with daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. They returned to their Colorado home early last week and Shanann was reported missing Monday, hours after she returned from a work trip to Arizona. Prosecutors said Thursday that they believe Watts murdered his wife and daughters in the family home, KDVR reports.
Authorities have not disclosed how the three were killed. Shanann Watts’ body was found Thursday on property belonging to Anadarko Petroleum, Chris Watts’ employer until he was fired following his arrest on Wednesday. The Frederick Police Department said late Thursday that the bodies of the girls had been found “in close proximity” to their mother. Sources tell Denver7 that Watts hid the bodies of his daughters in oil and gas tanks to conceal the smell. Watts—who, in an interview that now seems chilling, pleaded for the safe return of his family—is being held in the Weld County Jail on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder. He was denied bond Thursday and is due back in court Tuesday.