August 18, 2018 - 11:57 AM EDT
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Kids found in Colorado oil well may have been strangled, filings suggest

Aug. 18 (UPI) --

The defense for a Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters has filed documents suggesting the girls may have been strangled.

Chris Watts' defense attorney, James Merson, filed two motions Friday, requesting DNA samples of the girls' throats, suggesting his two daughters were strangled, 9NEWS reported based on court documents it obtained.

Authorities said they found the bodies of Watts' pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, at a Colorado oil facility Thursday after they were reported missing Monday. Watts initially said they disappeared, but authorities arrested him Wednesday after they said he confessed to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters.

First-degree murder charges are expected to be formally filed against Watts on Monday.

The DNA expert, Richard Eikelenboom, said in the filing that even though the bodies of two of the decedents have been in an oil well filled with crude oil for several days, DNA would still be present.

In a second motion, Merson did not ask for DNA of Shanann's throat, but asked for DNA of her hands and nails and the children's hands and nails.

The first motion was filed 20 minutes before autopsies were scheduled to begin, CNN reported.

Watts' attorneys did not say what motivated them to make the DNA requests.

Ashley Bell, a friend of Shanann's told local TV station KDVR that a gender-reveal party for Shanann Watts' unborn child was scheduled for Saturday.


Source: United Press International (August 18, 2018 - 11:57 AM EDT)

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