Prosecutors request autopsy reports for Frederick mother, daughters be kept from public

The Denver Post: The prosecutors who charged a Frederick man with murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters requested Monday that a judge keep the victims’ autopsy reports from the public until trial, court documents show.

The bodies of Shanann Watts and her daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were found last month on Anadarko Petroleum Corporation property in rural Weld County. The girls’ bodies were hidden in an oil tank and their mother was buried in a shallow grave nearby. Police charged Christopher Watts, Shanann’s husband and the girls’ father, in their killings.

Neither law enforcement nor prosecutors have officially released how the three died, though a defense motion filed last month suggested that the girls had been strangled to death. Prosecutors with the Weld County District Attorney’s Office believe the release of the autopsy reports could damage the continuing investigation.

“The disclosure of this information to the public prior to trial could result in tainting witnesses that have not yet been interviewed and impacting future jurors,” the prosecution’s motion states.

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