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‘Just come back,’ husband pleaded after disappearance of pregnant wife, two daughters. Hours later, he confessed to killing them.

FREDERICK, Colo.—Just hours before confessing to killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, husband Chris Watts, in a 7-minute interview with a local TV station Tuesday, Aug. 14, pleaded for law enforcement and the public’s help in finding his missing family.

“If your wife could see this … if she’s watching this, what would you like to tell your wife and kids?” asked KMGH-TV reporter Tomas Hoppough to Watts.

After a short breath, Watts turned his head, looked straight into the camera, and made one final plea for help.

“Shanann, Bella, Celeste: If you’re out there, just … just come back,” Watts said. “If somebody has her, just please bring her back. I need to see everybody … I need to see everybody again. This house is not complete without anybody here.”

On Thursday morning, Aug. 16, Watts, 33, was booked into the Weld County Jail after law enforcement officials say he confessed to killing Shanann Watts, 34, and his two young daughters – 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella. According to police, Watts confessed to the killings Wednesday night, but wasn’t booked into jail until early the next morning.

Shanann and her daughters had been reported missing out of Frederick since Monday. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation had issued a missing-endangered alert for the three on Tuesday. Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant and had recently returned home from a business trip in Arizona before going missing. Shanann had been away from her Colorado home for most of the summer, KMGH-TV reported, spending six weeks with her family in North Carolina.

According to Watts during an interview with KMGH-TV:

Shanann came home from the airport after a business trip at around 2 a.m., but didn’t specify which day. Watts says that when he left the house that next morning at 5:15 a.m., Shanann was still there. Later that afternoon, around 12:15 p.m., Watts says that after receiving no response to repeated text messages and phone calls, Shanann’s friend Nicole, who had also not been receiving responses from her, showed up at the Watts’ home.

“Nicole called me when she was at the door and that’s when I came home,” Watts said. “And then … walked in the house and then nothing—just vanished. Nothing was here. I mean, she wasn’t here, the kids weren’t here, nobody was here.”

On Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined the search. In an interview with KMGH-TV, Watts said his wife’s purse, keys and phone were all left at home before she went missing.

When asked by a reporter if he thought Shanann just took off, Watts said he didn’t want to just “throw anything out there.”

“I hope that she’s somewhere safe right now and with the kids,” said Watts. “Could she have just taken off? I don’t know, but if somebody has her and they’re not safe, I want them back now. Like, that’s what’s in my head, like … if they’re safe right now, they’re gonna come back.”

Law enforcement officials say they believe they know where they can find the bodies.

More information is expected to be released by Frederick officials Thursday.

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at rtorgerson@forumcomm.com. Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson

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