The Latest: Lawyer says girls’ bodies were immersed in oil

FREDERICK, Colo. – The Latest news about the arrest of a Colorado man in the disappearance of his family (all times are local):

6:30 pm

A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the death of his pregnant wife and two young daughters, saith the daughters’ bodies were immersed in crude oil for four days before they were found.

Lawyer James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken of the children by the throat.

In another motion, Merson requires that DNA samples be taken from the hands and nails of the body of the mother.

It was not immediately clear whether the court ruled on the motions.

Thirty-three-year-old Christopher Watts was Wednesday arrested on suspicion of three murders. On Thursday, investigators found the bodies of his wife, Shanann Watts, and their daughters, ages 3 and 4.

The researchers have not yet spoken publicly about a motive.

Watts is being held without bail. He is expected to be formally charged by Monday.


11:20 pm

The accusation that a man killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters will be asked questions about the Colorado is the lack of a law allowing murder charges in the violent death of fetuses.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado is one of the 12 states without such a law.

Prosecutors are expected to charge Chris Watts on Monday. Watts was Wednesday arrested on suspicion of three murders.

Violent crimes have prompted debate in Colorado, including in 2015, after a woman cut open a pregnant woman in the abdomen and removed her unborn baby.

Proposals to change the law have been hampered by the debate about when a fetus can legally be considered a human being.

Colorado is a murder charge if the fetus was alive outside the mother’s body and then killed.


12:05 pm

Shanann Watts painted a rosy portrait of her family on Facebook, calls her husband and the father of her two young daughters as her “rock” and the scripture, that he was “the best dad of the girls could ask for.”

But that idyllic image was shattered Wednesday when her husband, the 33-year-old Christopher Watts, was arrested on suspicion of killing his family.

Shanann Watts, who was pregnant, and the couple’s 3-year-old and 4-year-old daughters were found dead in northern Colorado on Thursday.

No motive has been released, leaving family and friends looking for answers.

June 2015 bankruptcy filing captures a picture of the family in dealing with financial pressures.

Christopher Watt, who is being held without bail, is expected to be formally charged by Monday.

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