The Colorado Bureau of Investigation, announced Thursday that authorities have recovered a body believed to be that of 34-year-old Shanann Watts who was reported missing on Monday along with her two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella Watts.
The announcement comes just hours after her husband, Christopher Watts, 33, was arrested.
“This is absolutely the worst possible outcome that any of us could possibly imagine,” John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said during a press conference.
Confirmed dead: Shanann Watts and her daughters Bella, 4 and 3-year-old Celeste
Related: Colorado dad, Christopher Watts, reportedly, confesses to killing pregnant wife, two daughters after pleading for their safe return days earlier
Camper added that authorities believe they know where the bodies of her two young daughters, Celeste and Bella, are located, though they hadn’t been recovered as of Thursday morning.
“And I think our hearts are broken for the town of Frederick as much as anybody,” Camper said.
Camper confirmed that Shanann Watts’ body had been located on property belonging to Anadarko Petroleum. A spokesman for the Texas-based company told KMGH that Christopher Watts had worked for the firm, but was no longer employed there as of Thursday.
Christopher Watts, [left], admitted to killing his wife and daughters [photo], on Thursday morning
Investigators have “strong reason” to believe they know where the bodies of Watts’ children are located and are in the process of recovering them, Camper said.
Authorities declined to discuss a possible motive in the alleged triple killing during Thursday’s news conference, as well as how they believe Shanann Watts and her daughters were killed and whether Christopher Watts has been cooperative with investigators.
Christopher Watts may be charged by Monday
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said formal charges against Watts will be filed by Monday. He is scheduled to appear in court later Thursday for a bond hearing, authorities said.
The victim’s family was heartbroken over the grisly find.
“It is with deep hurt, confusion and anger to confirm our beautiful cousin Shanann Watts, her unborn child, and her two angelic daughters, Bella (4), Celeste (3) were viciously murdered by husband Chris Watts; who confessed to the killings,” they said in a statement to KCNC. “Please keep Shanann’s parents and brother in your prayers.”
Christopher Watts remained held without bail in connection with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with evidence, KMGH reports. Two law enforcement sources close to the investigation told the station that Watts confessed to killing his family.