Shanann Watts and her two young daughters were murdered in August 2018 by Chris Watts, Shanann’s husband and father to Bella, 4, and Celeste, 2. Shanann was pregnant with her third child at the time — her gender reveal party to tell friends and family that she was having a boy was scheduled for just days after she was killed.
Ahead of the Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, here’s what you need to know about the crime scene, including photos of the report.
The Report from the Anadarko Oil Site
The crime scene report filed by Frederick Police Department officer David Yocum reads:
Within the fenced area were two large tanks approximately 20 feet in height and 12 feet in diameter. Each tank is equipped to hold approximately 400 barrels of crude oil (16,800 gallons). Also within the site was a well head, pumping, facilities, waste collection, and venting/pressurization equipment. …
Located to the south and east of the well head was an area that appeared to have been recently excavated and filled back in. The area appeared to be approximately eight feet by 14 feet in diameter. …
On the property were two black plastic bags. One bag was located to the west of the excavated plot (DY1) while one bag was located to the south (DY2). To the south of the plastic bag (DY2) was a bed sheet (DY3). The sheet was a fitted sheet consistent with the same pattern and colors of the sheet I observed in the kitchen trash at the home on Saratoga Trail. …
As the search of the site continued, I observed several strands of suspected hair (DY6) attached to the interior flange of the top hatch (thief hatch) on the eastern most crude oil storage tank.
After the collection of the visible evidence, CSM Maloney and I began the excavation of the suspected grave site. Approximately nine inches below the surface grade, CSM Maloney and I located the adult female victim believed to be Shanann Watts.
The victim was in a fetal position with her knees pulled up to her chest at the bottom of the grave and her feet directed up towards the top of the grave. Her chest and face primarily was facing down into the ground … the victim was wearing a blue pair of underwear and a light colored shirt. …
At approximately 1000 hours on Thursday, August 16, the process of unloading the contents of the tanks in search of the two juvenile female victims and other evidence began … Once the tanks were empty, entry to the tanks for body recovery could only be done by specially trained and certified personnel. …
Upon completion of emptying the east tank, a juvenile victim believed to be Celeste Watts was found buried in crude oil sludge at the bottom of the east tank. The victim was recovered by CSP and was wearing an orange/pink colored shirt, shorts, and a diaper with no shoes or socks. After the recovery of the victim from the east tank, the west tank was drained under the same procedural guidelines. Again, found in the bottom of the tank, in the crude oil sludge was the second juvenile female victim believed to be Bella Watts. The victim was wearing a pink multi-colored shirt and shorts, no shoes or socks.
Watts ‘Haunted’ By What He Did
Chris Watts confessed to the murders as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to five life sentences with no possibility of parole. According to a recent People article, Watts is “haunted” by what he did to his family.
“He knows exactly what he did. He’s haunted by what he did. He says he can’t shake the memories of his family, and they haunt him. He is in his own psychological torment, every day of his life,” said the jailhouse source, adding, “He knows he deserves it. He knows that he made many mistakes in his life, and this is his punishment.”
A different source previously told People that Watts found religion in jail and that “a day doesn’t go by … where he doesn’t think about his family. He’s in a hell of his own making.”
But a family friend who requested only to be identified as Kim added, “He’s sad that everyone is hurting. He wishes he could go back in time. He wishes he had handled things differently.”
American Murder: The Family Next Door drops on Netflix on Wednesday, September 30.