FREDERICK, Colo. (CBS4) – Neighbors of the Watts family and those who didn’t even know them came to the Watts family home in Frederick on Thursday, to place stuffed animals and flowers at the memorial for the pregnant mother and her two young daughters.
“They didn’t deserve any of this. Those two little girls are so innocent and so sweet and I just don’t understand how you can do this to your own family,” said Ashley Bell, a neighbor and friend.
The two girls attended preschool nearby where parents and teachers were distraught at the news that they are gone.
Shanann Watts disappeared with their two daughters on Monday sometime before 2 p.m. Chris Watts was arrested Wednesday evening and taken to Weld County Jail just after 11:30 p.m.
Much like the rest of the community, Bell says she is in a state of shock. Her daughter frequently played with Shanann’s daughters, Cece and Bella. She didn’t want to believe it was true when she heard Shanann’s husband confessed.
“I kept telling myself, no no he wouldn’t do anything to her giving him the benefit of the doubt,” she said, fighting back tears.
Bell said Shanann was a wonderful mother and a hard worker. She was a promoter for a health supplement brand. Bell said Shanann was always taking classes, pushing herself to learn more and climb the ladder.
Remembering Shanann puts a temporary smile on Bell’s face. It’s the only thing that seems to help. Bell let out an involuntary chuckle when remembering Cece and Bella.
“They were always so crazy! I should say, Cece, she was a little ball of fire. She had no fear just like my daughter. And Bella, she was the more cautious one.”
She keeps going over the situation in her head.
“I just don’t understand how you could do this.”
Court documents are sealed in the case at least until Monday and so far police haven’t revealed what motive there might have been for the murders. They also aren’t saying so far how the woman and the children were killed but prosecutors believe they were killed in the Watts family home.
Watts is tentatively facing six charges, three for first-degree murder and three for tampering with evidence.
Tributes to Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts are being left outside their home. Neighbors told CBS4 they are angry and confused after what has happened.
“I got 15 grandkids and nine great-grandkids and it bothers me a lot, as a man, you know? How can a man do that to a child?” said Baltasar Gutierrez, a man who didn’t know the Watts family but came to the memorial.
For Bell, her focus now is finding the remains.
“Her and those 2 little girls need to be brought home so that they can have the proper…. be laid to rest the proper way because they didn’t deserve any of this.”
A memorial and candlelight vigil is planned for 8:30 p.m. Friday in front of the family home.
With contributions from Jamie Leary. She joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.