Authorities release autopsy reports of Shanann Watts, daughters


Bella, Celeste and Shanann Watts

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GREELEY, Colo. — Authorities have released the autopsy reports for Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts, who were murdered by Christopher Watts in August. Christopher was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

District Attorney Michael Rourke said the autopsy reports were not initially released because Shanann’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was determined to be .128. However, that result is consistent with normal body decomposition under the circumstances in which Shanann’s body was buried.

“That does not mean that she consumed alcohol, nor that she was intoxicated,” Rourke said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Additionally, substances were found in the bodies of Bella and Celeste. However, all substances found could be attributed to their bodies being placed in crude oil containers, Rourke said.

“The forensic experts confirmed for us that all of the substances found in those toxicology reports are consistent with being submerged in unrefined crude oil,” Rourke said.

The autopsy report says Shanann — who was pregnant with a boy named Nico — died from asphyxiation due to manual strangulation. Both Celeste and Bella died from asphyxiation due to smothering.

Rourke explained that Bella tried to fight back.

“She fought back for her life as her father smothered her,” Rourke said. Celeste did not have any external injuries.

Editor’s Note: At FOX31 and Channel 2, while we believe it’s important that the media have access to review these reports, some information is graphic and sensitive.

We chose to focus our reporting on the cause of death and other specifics that the district attorney discussed.

We believe our reporting gives a clear depiction of many details contained in the report and for that reason we are choosing not to post entire report online.

You may see the full autopsies posted online by national media, however in this instance as members of the Colorado community we at FOX31 and Channel 2 feel releasing them with full graphic details is not necessary.


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