A supposedly traumatised husband has been arrested after he made an emotional appeal on television for the safe return of his pregnant wife and children and confessed to being their killer, just hours later.
Chris Watts, 33, was arrested after confessing to killing his pregnant wife Shanann Watts and their daughters, Bella, four, and three-year-old Celeste.
34 year old Shanann was 15-weeks pregnant with a baby boy they were going to name Nico.
Just a few weeks earlier, Shannan had gushed on her Facebook page about how Chris was the best thing that ever happened to her.
In a now haunting clip Shanann shared on Facebook, she praises the man who is now accused of killing her and their daughters.
Speaking to the camera, she said:
“I got a friend request from Chris on Facebook and I was like, ‘Oh, what the heck, I’m never going to meet him.
“I accept, one thing led to another and eight years later we have two kids, we live in Colorado and he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
In another post, Shannan heaped praise on her husband, writing on Facebook in April while on a work trip to New Orleans:
“He’s my rock! He takes care of us girls unconditionally! Thank you baby for holding down the fort this weekend! Love you,” she wrote.
In June, after Shannan found out she was pregnant, she sent her husband Chris an ultrasound pic showing their third pregnancy and Chris sent her moving messages that read:
“Little Peanut!! Love her/him already!!!”
Nothing prepared anyone for the shock that happened when Shannan was reported missing last Monday after returning home from a business trip at around 1am.
Chris Watts has spent the weekend at home with their children. Chris said he last saw his wife at 5.15am before he left for work.
Speaking on NBC’s Today show , Watts said he and Shanann had had an “emotional” conversation that morning and had stayed up talking but didn’t give any further details.
“I don’t feel like this is even real right now. It’s like a nightmare I can’t wake up from.”
He said Shanann was planning to go to a friend’s house with their daughters and Fox 31 reports that was the last time he heard from her.
Watts said he saw his two girls asleep on the baby monitor as he left the house.
He said he texted his wife numerous times but didn’t receive any response which he thought was odd.
At around midday, he checked their doorbell camera and saw that a friend had stopped by.
But no one opened the door.
Watts said he rushed home but no one was there, even though Shanann’s car was in the driveway.
He then spoke to police and reported them as missing at 1.40pm.
“When I got home yesterday, it was like a ghost town.
“I was trying to get home as fast as I can, I was blowing through stop lights, I was blowing through everything just trying to get home as fast as I can because none of this made sense.”
In the televised appeal, Watts said:
“I have no idea, like where they went”.
Hours later, Chris Watts confessed to the murders but not after giving a number of interviews to national media.
Police have not said what prompted his confession but said Chris led officers to Shanann’s body, then his daughters’ dead bodies.
The bodies of Shanann and her kids were found dumped and reportedly hidden inside gas tanks to mask their smell. Investigators say they were killed at the family home before their bodies were moved.