Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A Colorado man, accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, was charged with three counts of murder Monday.
Chris Watts, 33, faces nine felony charges including the three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murder of a victim under 12 by person in position of trust, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy in the first degree, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, Colorado's KOAA reported.
Frederick, Colo., police arrested Watts, 33, last week after they said he confessed to the killings. Watts initially denied involvement and gave media interviews expressing concern for Shanann Watts, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. His wife was 15 weeks pregnant.
Watts was booked on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of evidence tampering. He's being held in protective custody due to the publicity of the case. Later Monday, an affidavit providing details of what led to his arrest was unsealed. Tuesday, he's due in court to be advised of the formal charges.
Authorities were still investigating the case, looking for a motive and causes of the three deaths.
Watts initially said his wife and daughters disappeared without a trace. His arrest has shocked many who knew him and the family, but one friend told ABC News Monday she wasn't surprised -- because she said he didn't seem at all concerned after the three disappeared.
"He was defending himself, but it just didn't make sense," Nicole Atkinson, a close friend of Shanann Watts, told Good Morning America. "Like in that moment it is kind of surreal.
"He was just sitting there waiting for something to happen; it just didn't seem right to me."