A new report released by Colorado authorities details the grueling ordeal of retrieving the bodies of Bella and Celeste Watts from the oil tanks where Chris Watts dumped their bodies.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Watts directed authorities to an oil field owned by his then-employer, Anadarko Petroleum, shortly after confessing to murdering his pregnant wife Shanann Watts and their two young daughters. He reportedly drove the bodies to the oil field on the morning of August 13, and buried Shanann in a shallow grave on the same site.
The Daily Mail obtained a Hazardous Materials Incident Narrative Report that was filed by the Colorado State Patrol, and which provides a detailed, and often gruesome, account of retrieving the bodies of the little girls from the oil tanks.
The retrieval reportedly began at 5 a.m. on August 16 and was not concluded until 6:45 p.m. that evening. The recovery workers carefully drained the oil tanks through a screen, in order to preserve any potential evidence, and the workers could only stay in the tanks for a limited amount of time because of toxic fumes.
The reports show that once the tanks were drained, the investigators were able to view the bodies of the little girls at the bottom of the tanks, which each had a narrow, 8-inch opening.
WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
“There was a body face down on the south side of the tank with the head facing west. It appeared to be a small female child,” the report reads, according to the Daily Mail.
‘Trooper Reeder grasped the upper portion of her right arm to turn her over. Trooper Reeder then lifted her by both upper arms as I held her right leg. Trooper Reeder held her left arm and left leg as we moved the body towards the manway,” referring to the tank’s opening.
During this process, the child’s hand reportedly became “degloved” of skin.
According to the report, the second child’s body also showed signs of “skin slippage” during the retrieval process.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, investigators who took Chris Watts’ confession appeared incredulous in the video released of the interrogation that he was able to fit his daughters’ bodies through such a narrow opening, but he insisted it was not difficult.
Below is video obtained by the Daily Mail of the recovery effort:
After initially claiming that he killed his pregnant wife in a “rage” after he witnessed her strangling his daughter, Chris Watts pleaded guilty to murdering all three of his family members last month, and is now serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole.