The Latest: Searchers find bodies of 2 young Colorado girls

The Latest on the arrest of a Colorado man in the disappearance of his family (all times local):

7 p.m.

Investigators who found the body of a pregnant Colorado woman reported missing this week have discovered what they believe are the bodies of her two young daughters.

Searchers on Thursday afternoon found what appear to be the bodies of 4-year-old Bella Watts and 3-year-old Celeste Watts. The remains of their mother, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, were found earlier on property in northern Colorado owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

The father, 33-year-old Christopher Watts, is being held without bail on suspicion of killing his wife and daughters. He is expected to be formally charged Monday.

Investigators have not said how the three died.

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4:15 p.m.

Colorado prosecutors say they believe a Colorado man killed his pregnant wife and two daughters in their home.

Christopher Watts was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing his wife and daughters. He was ordered held without bail ahead of hearing next Tuesday to discuss formal charges.

The comments came during a brief court hearing on Thursday as Judge Marcelo Kopcow considered several requests on preservation of evidence made by Watts' attorney. The attorney left the court without commenting.

After Thursday's hearing, District Attorney Michael Rourke said he could not discuss what led authorities to believe the three died in their home.

Authorities say they have found the body of Shanann Watts and believe they know the location of the girls' bodies and are working to recover them.

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3:40 p.m.

A judge has ordered a Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters held in jail without bail.

Christopher Watts, 33, could face three charges of murder and three charges of tampering with evidence. Judge Marcelo Kopcow told prosecutors to file formal charges by Monday and set a Tuesday hearing to review the charges with Watts.

Watts didn't speak as he was escorted into the courtroom. He looked down for much of the hearing but made eye contact as the judge reviewed his rights.

Kopcow approved a request by Watts' attorney that police preserve all written notes and notify the defense team before autopsies are performed. Prosecutors said it's not clear when that will happen.

Authorities say they have found the body of Shanann Watts and believe they know the location of the girls' bodies and are working to recover them.

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2:50 p.m.

A friend of a pregnant Colorado woman whose husband is accused of killing her and their two young daughters says she never noticed anything wrong between the couple.

Ashley Bell says she became close friends with Shanann Watts after Watts visited Bell's tanning salon two years ago. Bell, her husband, Steve, and their 4-year-old daughter, Liberty, on Thursday added to a memorial of stuffed toys, candles and flowers outside the Watts family home.

Bell said she had not slept the night before, in disbelief and shock as news spread that Christopher Watts had been arrested. She also got to know him, describing him as a loving father and saying she can't understand it.

Bells says Shanann took 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste everywhere and was excited about being pregnant.

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2:50 p.m.

A 2015 bankruptcy filing for a Colorado couple captures a picture of a family caught between a promising future and financial strain.

It came three years before authorities accused Christopher Watts of killing his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two young daughters.

The June 2015 filing notes that Chris Watts had gotten a job six months earlier as an operator for Anadarko, and paystubs indicate his salary was about $61,500 per year.

Shanann was working at the time in a call center at a children's hospital earning about $18 per hour. Combined, they had earned $90,000 in 2014.

But they also had tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, along with some student loans and medical bills — for a total of $70,000 in unsecured claims on top of a sizable mortgage.

They said their nearly $3,000 mortgage and $600 in monthly car payments formed the bulk of their $4,900 in monthly expenses.

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12:05 p.m.

Authorities say bodies believed to be a pregnant woman and her two young children were found on the property of one of Colorado's largest oil and gas drillers where her husband used to work.

John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, told reporters Thursday that investigators have found Shanann Watts' body and were trying to recover what they believe are the bodies of 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. property.

Chris Watts has been arrested in the disappearance of his family. His paystubs show he was working for Anadarko in 2015.

Company spokeswoman Jennifer Brice said he's no longer employed there. She declined to provide any other information, citing the active investigation.

She says the company is heartbroken and is supporting investigators.

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12:05 p.m.

A woman whose body was found after her husband was arrested in the disappearance of her and their two young daughters had just visited her hometown in North Carolina and a neighbor said she seemed happy.

Her parents' next-door neighbor, Joe Beach, said he had seen Shanann Watts when she visited the neighborhood of modest homes in Aberdeen for three weeks. He thought she went back to Colorado within the last week.

Beach says he talked to her a couple of times about her daughters and life in Colorado. He says that "she didn't give me an indication that there was anything wrong. She seemed pretty happy."

He said he knew her parents well and had known Shanann since she was a teenager. Beach said she was a nice person with two lovely children, both of whom he had seen on the recent visit.

He said he hasn't spoken to her parents since the tragedy, but a neighbor told him they flew to Colorado.

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10:55 a.m.

Authorities say they have found the body of a pregnant Colorado woman reported missing this week and believe they know where the bodies of her two children are.

The announcement Thursday came a few hours after police said they had arrested 33-year-old Christopher Watts in the disappearance of his 34-year-old wife, Shanann, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.

John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said investigators have strong reason to believe they know where the girls' bodies are and are trying to recover them.

Watts was arrested Wednesday night and is due to appear in court Thursday. He hasn't been charged yet, and it isn't known if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.

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9:10 a.m.

Property records say a woman whose husband has been arrested in the disappearance of her and their two young daughters appears to have moved to Colorado from North Carolina with her husband around 2012.

Byron Falls, who bought Shanann Watts' house in Belmont, west of Charlotte, said Thursday that she had been in a hurry to sell and left behind the furniture as part of the sale.

Falls says he and his wife bought the house in 2012.

The August 2012 deed shows that Watts signed it while already living in Colorado. Records say she had bought it in 2009.

Falls said he didn't meet Watts and that an agent handled the closing for her.

Watts and her daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were reported missing Monday. Police say they arrested her husband, Chris Watts, on Wednesday.

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8:30 a.m.

A social media account of a pregnant Colorado woman whose husband has been arrested in the disappearance of her and their two young daughters paints a portrait of a happy family.

Shanann Watts often posts photos and videos on Facebook of her family, friends and herself. Her comments are typically upbeat and say how happy she is, whether she's running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program.

She and 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were reported missing Monday. Police say they arrested her husband, Chris Watts, on Wednesday in connection with the case.

Shanann Watts posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, in front of the ocean on vacation and at their house. On one from May 5, she wrote: "I love this man! He's my ROCK!"

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7:35 a.m.

Authorities say a Colorado man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of his pregnant wife and their two young children.

Police in the town of Frederick said Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday. His 34-year-old wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were reported missing Monday.

The police said on Twitter early Thursday that Chris Watts will be held at the Weld County Jail. He has not yet been charged. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Chris Watts spoke previously with The Denver Channel and pleaded for his family's safe return.

Authorities did not release any information on the whereabouts or conditions of Shanann or her daughters.

Police say they plan to release more information at a morning news conference.