The bodies of two young girls have reportedly been found inside oil and gas tanks after their father was arrested on suspicion of killing them.
Christopher Watts, 33, from Frederick, Colorado, was arrested just hours after making an emotional plea for information on the whereabouts of his daughters and wife, whom he is also alleged to have killed.
The body of 34-year-old Shanann Watts was found on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the state’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Christopher Watts used to work, police said.
The search for the bodies of the couple’s two daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, turned up human remains that were believed to belong to the two children, Frederick Police said on Twitter on Thursday.
Their bodies were found in the same area as their mother.
The girls’ bodies were allegedly hidden inside “mostly full” oil and gas tanks owned by Anadarko in order to conceal the smell, Denver 7 reports.
Christopher Watts was taken into custody late on Wednesday for the suspected murder of his wife and two daughters.
“This is absolutely the worst possible outcome that any of us could imagine,” John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, told a news briefing about the incident in Frederick, about 50km north of Denver.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke told reporters his office had until Monday to file formal charges against Watts.
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Watts made a brief appearance in court and was ordered held without bail until at least his next court appearance next week, Weld County assistant district attorney Robert Miller said.
Watts, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and in shackles, did not speak to reporters.
Prosecutors said in court they believed Watts’ wife and two daughters were killed at their home, TV station Denver 7 reported from the courthouse.
Watts said in an interview with Denver 7 on Tuesday he was “torn up inside” about his family going missing and pleaded for their return.
“I just want them to come back,” Watts told the broadcaster.
“My kids are my life. Those smiles light up my life. I want everybody to just come home.”