District attorney has not received autopsy reports for Shanann Watts, daughters

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- The Weld County District Attorney said his office has not received the autopsy report in the case regarding the deaths of Shanann Watts and her two daughters.

Christopher Watts, 33, is charged with nine felonies, including three counts of first-degree murder after deliberation, in the deaths of his 34-year-old wife Shanann, 4-year-old daughter Bella and 3-year-old daughter Celeste.

The Weld County Coroner's Office has not released the final reports from the forensic pathologist, District Attorney Michael Rourke said.

Prosecutors have asked to keep the autopsy reports private until the trial is underway, according to court documents.

Rourke and two of his deputy district attorneys argue the reports “will be critical evidence at trial.”

Christopher Watts’ attorneys previously filed a response to a request from prosecutors to obtain DNA evidence, buccal swabs and finger and palm prints.

His attorney argues giving up fingerprints and DNA samples is unconstitutional.

RELATED: Full coverage of deaths of pregnant mother, two daughters

Christopher Watts is also charged with two counts of first-degree murder -- victim under 12/position of trust, one count of first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Watts would face a mandatory life sentence in prison. Rourke has not said if he will seek the death penalty.

According to an arrest affidavit, Christopher Watts was actively involved in an affair with one of his co-workers. He admitted to the affair at first, then denied it, according to prosecutors.

RELATED: Christopher Watts arrest affidavit

The arresting documents claim Watts caught his wife strangling their daughters to death after the couple had a conversation about them separating early in the morning of Aug. 13 in their Frederick home.

He claims he then strangled his wife “in a rage.” Watts told investigators he loaded the bodies into his work truck and buried them on property owned by his employer, Anadarko Petroleum.

Shanann Watts, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and her daughters were reported missing at 1:40 p.m. on Aug. 13.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued a missing-endangered alert for the three the next day.

Christopher Watts said in a several interviews  that he didn’t know where his wife and daughters were.

The Frederick Police Department, the CBI and the FBI canvassed the area before arresting Christopher Watts on Aug. 15.

The body of Shanann Watts, 34, was recovered in a shallow grave near an oil tank.

Court documents said the girls were found in an oil well in close proximity to their mother’s body.

Court documents filed by defense lawyer James Merson said the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.

Christopher Watts remains in a Weld County Jail as he awaits a status conference on Nov. 19.

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