FREDERICK, Colo. (CBS NEWS) – An affidavit explaining why investigators believe a Colorado husband and father murdered his pregnant wife and family is expected to be made public Monday, when he will be formally charged, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports.
Police arrested Chris Watts, 33, late Wednesday on suspicion of killing his wife and children.
Autopsies were completed Friday on Shanann Watts, 34, and her daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. The cause of their deaths has not been made public. Chris Watts’ attorney filed a motion seeking the DNA samples from the girls’ necks, and suggested that they may have been strangled.
The Associated Press reports a judge denied that request.
Shanann Watts and her daughters’ bodies were found on Thursday on property owned by Andarko Petroleum, one of Colorado’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Watts worked as an operator. Court documents filed by defense lawyer James Merson said the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.
CBS Denver reports the defense motion quotes an expert who believes the oil would not eliminate DNA evidence and said samples can be obtained “after strangulation.”
Weld County prosecutors said Watts was jailed in protective custody and that charges were expected to be filed on Monday.
Outside the family’s home in Frederick, north of Denver, a memorial of stuffed animals, balloons, flowers and messages grew and a candlelight vigil drew dozens of people Friday night.
“This is to celebrate, mourn and get closure for a family that didn’t deserve this,” said vigil organizer Kelley Trippy. “This is a horrible, horrible, horrible story. It’s affected us all whether you do know them or don’t know them.”
Christine Gentert said a prayer, adding that she wanted Shanann Watts to be remembered for her smile and her love for others.
“I don’t want the horror to replace how beautiful she was,” Gentert said.
Ashley Bell, a friend of Shanann Watts, said Shanann had planned a party Saturday to reveal the gender of her baby. Frankie Rzucek said his sister planned to name her baby boy Niko.
The couple had financial problems and filed for bankruptcy in 2015, but so far investigators have not revealed a motive for the killings.
A former FBI profiler told CBSN the televised plea for the return of his wife and young daughters showed arrogance and a lack of empathy. Mary Ellen O’Toole said Watts’ interview speaks to what he thinks is his ability to be persuasive.
“When somebody kills their own family and then they go on TV to say ‘But I didn’t have anything to do with it,’ that ability to be so very sure of your own interpersonal skills that you can attempt to fool a national and international audience is very unusual,” said O’Toole. “That’s a lot of arrogance and confidence that you could pull this off, and that’s not typical.”
O’Toole said Watts’ insistence that he didn’t know where his family members were shows an attempt to push the investigation away from himself. “If I don’t know anything, obviously I can’t have anything to do with it,” O’Toole said, describing the implication of Watts’ comments.
But O’Toole said he also contradicted himself by calling the situation a “nightmare,” while at the same time maintaining he didn’t know what happened.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.