DENVER (CNN) – A Colorado man is facing three counts of murder after his pregnant wife and two young daughters disappeared this week.
Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday night and is being held in the Weld County jail, north of Denver.
Shanann Watts, who was 15-weeks pregnant, was reported missing on Monday along with her two daughters, three-year-old Bella and four-year-old Celeste.
According to a recording on the jail’s phone, Watts has been charged with three counts of murder in the first degree and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.
The FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation were involved in the arrest, according to the Frederick police department.
Authorities found the body of Shanann Watts Thursday, and late that evening said they had found two bodies believed to belong to the two children.
Watts’ pickup truck was towed from the family’s home overnight as investigators removed items from the house in garbage bags.
In an interview before his arrest, Watts said his wife got home from a business trip about 2 a.m. Monday.
When asked by the reporter if they argued, Watts said, “We had an emotional conversation, I’ll leave it at that. I just want them back. I just want them to come back.”
Watts said he left for work about 5:15 a.m. that day and said he wasn’t concerned when Shanann didn’t respond to his texts and phone calls because she was probably busy with her job, having just returned from being out of town.
But he said he became worried when one of her friends contacted him around noon and said Shanann wasn’t responding to messages.
“I walked in the house and — nothing,” Watts said. “She wasn’t here. The kids weren’t here.”
“She said she was going to a friend’s house with the kids and that’s the last thing I heard, and that was it. It was very vague,” he told reporters.
An unidentified friend said she dropped off Shanann Watts at home about 2 a.m. Monday after they returned from a work trip and watched her go into the house.
The two planned to meet later, but Watts, 34, didn’t answer her phone or show up for a doctor’s appointment.
Police have not provided details on the disappearance or where they were last seen, but said they conducted a welfare check after Watts’ friend called and requested one.
Frankie Rzucek, who is identified on Shanann Watts’ Facebook page as her brother, posted overnight on his page saying he just wanted to know why.
“I just want 30 seconds alone with that heartless psychopath. May Satan have mercy on his soul,” Rzucek wrote. “Doesn’t take a genius to know who was suspect.”
Le-Vel, a “health and wellness” company Shanann Watts worked for, according to her public Facebook page, has posted a message regarding Watts and her two daughters.
“Our hearts are broken for the loss of our dear friend Shanann Watts and her children. Shanann was an amazing woman, mother, friend, and overall person. She lit up every room and was a joy to be around. … Shanann and her children will be dearly missed. We honor them on this sorrowful day.”
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