FREDERICK, Colo. – Authorities say the husband of a missing family in Colorado has been arrested in connection with the case.

  • Shanann Watts and her two daughters vanished on Monday.
  • Her husband, Chris, is now in custody in Colorado.
  • Shannan Watts was from Moore County, N.C. 

The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into custody.

Watt's pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were reported missing Monday.

The police said on Twitter early Thursday that Chris Watts will be held at the Weld County Jail. He has not yet been charged.

Authorities said in a conference Thursday afternoon that the body of Shanann Watts has been recovered, and that investigators were trying to recover what they believe are the remains of the girls.

They also added they are not concerned about any other danger to the community related to this case. 

"As horrible as this outcome is, our role now is to do everything we can to determine exactly what occurred,'' said John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Shanann Watts is from Moore County and went to Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines.

Shanann Watts' Facebook account paints a portrait of a happy family, with a constant feed of photos and videos of her family, friends and herself. Her comments are typically upbeat and say how happy she is, whether she's running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program.

In one posting from June, Watts can be seen finding out that Shanann was pregnant again. There is also video of their daughters hearing the news.



She posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, in front of the ocean on vacation and at their house. On one from May 5, she wrote: "I love this man! He's my ROCK!''

She posted a photo on June 19 of some texts with her husband after sending him a sonogram. He replied that he loved the baby already. She posted: "I love Chris! He's the best dad us girls could ask for.''

Her page has photo collages and video slide shows praising Chris Watts for taking care of her and their girls, how their love was growing stronger and how he was why she was brave enough to agree to a third child.

The couple filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015. They estimated they had the same range of assets as liabilities, according to court records.

Shanann Watts' parents' next-door neighbor in North Carolina, Joe Beach, said he had just seen her when she visited the neighborhood of modest homes in Aberdeen.

"She was here for about three weeks. I talked her a couple times,'' he said in a phone interview. ``We were talking about general things, about how her two girls were doing and how life was out in Colorado. She didn't give me an indication that there was anything wrong. She seemed pretty happy.''

The FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation are also investigating. Chris Watts is set to have a bond hearing on Thursday afternoon. Formal charges are expected to be released on Monday afternoon. 

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