It was just a few hours after he buried the body of his wife and dumped his daughters in oil tanks that Chris Watts’ alibi began to fall apart.
That was due in large part to the surveillance footage his neighbor had of Watts on the morning of the murders, which very clearly showed him back his truck up to his garage, load up the vehicle and drive off.
Watts had told police and his wife Shanann’s friends and family that she and daughters Bella and Celeste had run off that day while he was at work, but footage proved that was not the case.
In fact, the footage did not capture anyone leaving the house that day but Watts.
In video obtained by DailyMail.com after filing a request under the Colorado Open Records Act, Watts is seen watching that video for the first time – and throwing his hands behind his head in disbelief when he realizes he has been caught.
Bye bye, alibi: Chris Watts watched surveillance footage that showed him loading bodies into his truck just hours after he murdered his family(above)
No go: The footage showed that no one left the home on August 13 except for Watts, and when he realizes this he throws his hands behind his head in disbelief
Guilty: Watts then begins to sweat and offer up explanations as to why he had to back his truck up to the garage that morning, which his neighbor said was not normal
That video would later be used to draw out Watts’ confession before he was formally charged with murder.
Once he had confessed, the process began of retrieving the bodies of his wife and two daughters, who had been found despite his refusal to help with the search.
A Hazardous Materials Incident Narrative Report filed by the Colorado State Patrol details the process to retrieve the bodies of Bella and Celeste Watts, 4 and 3, after they were murdered by their father and dumped into an oil tank.
The process of removing the bodies began at 5am on the morning of August 16 and would go on for almost 14 hours, with the report noting that at 6:45pm that evening members of the Colorado State Patrol cleared the scene.
In that time, the oil from the two 400-barrel tanks on the scene was manually drained by workers, who carefully poured the liquid over metal screens to collect any possible evidence.
Then, once the tanks were emptied, men in self-contained breathing gear entered and removed the bodies of the girls, whose skin came off their bodies as they were passed out of the tanks.
Their mother and unborn baby brother Nico were found just 100 yards away in a shallow grave.
The report reveals that the diameter of the oil tank’s opening was only 8 inches, meaning it would have been too small to fit Shanann’s body.
The troopers who headed up the retrieval process arrived on the scene around 9am on the morning of August 16.
‘While the first crude tank was being off-loaded, Trooper Bandy, Reeder and I put rope handles on two containment pools,’ wrote Trooper Wilson.
‘We anticipated the bodies to be covered in crude oil and were going to use the pools to put each body in, once recovered.’
Once the tanks were emptied, the bolts on the tank doors at the base of the barrel were taken off by the team on the scene.
‘Sergeant Armstrong went up to the top of the tank and looked in the thief hatch,’ states the report.
‘Sergeant Armstrong told me he could see what looked like a body face down on the south side of the tank.’
Photos were taken and then the men began the process of removing the body from the tank.
Because of the level of oil sludge and toxic fumes, the men could only remain in the tank for a matter of minutes, making the process that much more complicated and difficult.
‘Trooper Reeder went in first then me close behind. There was a body face down on the south side of the tank with the head facing west. It appeared to be a small female child,’ reads the report.
‘Trooper Reeder grasped the upper portion of her right arm to turn her over. Trooper Reeder then lifted her by both upper arms as I held her right leg. Trooper Reeder held her left arm and left leg as we moved the body towards the manway.’
The victim was then moved out of the tank, but during the process her hand ‘degloved’ of its skin.
That skin was retreived and given to a member of law enforcement on the scene.
Tragedy: Watts with his wife Shanann and daughters Bella and Celeste just weeks before their murders (above)
Unknown: The team was not able to identify the girls when they removed the two bodies, unable to tell the victims apart
Third body: The opening to the tanks had a diameter of only eight inches, which was too small to fit the body of Shanann, who Chris buried in a shallow grave nearby (Shanann’s grave above)
Tragedy: Mourners gather in North Carolina to pay their last respects to Shanann and her two daughters (above)
The men next went about removing the body of the second victim, which was found in the second oil tank.
‘I grabbed her right arm near the wrist area and moved her towards the manway. At this point, Trooper Reeder was able to secure her left arm and left leg. Trooper Reeder and I then passed the body through the manway,’ reads the report.
‘Trooper Bandy grasped the left wrist and shoulder area as Sergeant Armstrong did the same on the right side. As the victim was passed through the manway Trooper Bandy and Sergeant continued to support her body as she was placed into a containment pool.’
The sheet that Shanann’s body was wrapped in before she was dumped in her shallow grave (above in evidence locker)
The report also notes: ‘During this extraction there was some skin slippage where we had to touch the victim’s body. There was also some skin on the plywood where her back made contact.’
Some skin was also lost while the body was being moved to the oil pool.
‘There was also some skin on the plywood where her back made contact,’ reads the report.
‘Trooper Reeder and I then walked around the inside of that tank which also had approximately 4” of crude sludge in it. We did not locate any additional evidence in tank. We exited the tank and walked over to the field south of the tanks. The body was turned over to the Weld County Coroner.
‘Sergeant Armstrong continued to monitor the second victim, using a four-gas monitor, as the Weld County Coroner and Pathologist attempted to remove the crude oil utilizing several oil absorbent pads.
‘The second victim was then placed into a body bag and taken to the Weld County Coroner’s vehicle.’
Bella was 4 and her sister Celeste had just turned 3 at the time they were murdered by their father.
Watts had told authorities just one day prior that it was his wife Shanann who killed the girls, claiming that he in turn murdered her in a rage.
Two months alter, Watts changed his story and entered a guilty plea to all three murders.