They married in NC in 2012. Now he’s charged with killing pregnant wife, 2 kids.

Shanann Watts, a pregnant mother of two who has been missing in Frederick, Colo., since Monday.
Shanann Watts, a pregnant mother of two who has been missing in Frederick, Colo., since Monday. Town of Frederick, Colo.

Police in Colorado are holding a man who is suspected of killing his wife, both of whom have North Carolina ties and married in Mecklenburg County in 2012, and two young daughters.

Police in Frederick, Colo., were notified Monday that Shanann Watts, 34, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and her two daughters, Bella, 3, and Celeste, 4, were missing. By Wednesday, according to the town’s website, the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation had joined the case.

Just after midnight Thursday, Frederick police announced that investigators had arrested Watts’ husband, Chris, and were awaiting charges. Police were to hold a news conference on the case Thursday morning.

CNN, along with multiple other news outlets, reported that Watts has been charged with “three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.” CNN affiliate KMGH reported that his pickup truck had been towed from the family’s home and that investigators removed items from the house in garbage bags.

Christopher Watts Weld County Jail

On Thursday, a Colorado Bureau of Investigation official told reporters that investigators had found Shannan Watts’ body and were trying to recover the bodies of the children from property owned by a petroleum company, the Coloradoan reported. The Associated Press reported Thursday night that bodies believed to be those of the children had been found.

Chris Watts had appeared on the “Today” show Wednesday morning to say he was living a “nightmare,” CBS News reported. Watts said he last saw his family early Monday morning before leaving for work.

“I just want them back,” he said. “I just want them to come back.”

Christopher Watts and Shanann Cathryn Rzucek were married in Mecklenburg County on Nov. 3, 2012, public records show. Her parents live in Aberdeen, records show. Christopher Watts lived in Mooresville about a decade ago, voter registration records show.

Shanann Watts’ Facebook page names Passaic, N.J., as her hometown.

In an angry Facebook post early Thursday, Frankie Rzucek of Aberdeen said he is Shanann Watts’ brother and wrote: “I just want to know why.”

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051; @bhender