Further Developments at the Chris Watts Crime Scene

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has “developed possible bare foot impressions” from “items of evidence.” The items of evidence are not described in the motion, but Rourke does say they were collected at the scene where police found the bodies of 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her children, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. – Times-Call, September 19, 2018

The scene described here is CERVI 319, the oil site where all three bodies were dumped. The details of the motion suggest that Chris Watts dumped the bodies without wearing protective footwear. This may mean he didn’t want to get incriminating substances on his clothing, or conversely, it was an endeavor not to leave incriminating boot or shoe prints behind.

The items of evidence [plural] could include:

– Access ladders

-Access Hatches

-Access tools

-Fence posts or perimeter metal posts

-Sections of the storage tank

-Pipe sections

According to the Times-Call newspaper:

An agent from CBI used a normal latent print process for nonporous items to develop the impressions, according to court documents. Latent prints are impressions created by rigid skin, found on fingers, palms and the soles of the feet. Nonporous surfaces would be those that do not absorb sweat, such as glass or metal, and thus can hold the prints for a long time. The prosecution also has filed a motion requesting prints of Watts’ palms and his fingerprints, as well as digital photographs of his hands.

Watts’ defense attorneys have objected to the request, saying that government requests for the defendant to provide evidence are “subject to constitutional limitations.”

What the latest evidence conjures is the impression of Chris Watts, just before dawn on Monday August 13th, energetically clambering over and scampering between Anadarko oil infrastructure –  bare foot – as he worked to dispose of his wife and children’s corpses.

24 thoughts on “Further Developments at the Chris Watts Crime Scene

  1. The article says glass or metal but could a nonporous surface be plastic also? In the Motion item #2 it says the impressions were developed from a bag collected at the scene where victim’s bodies were located. Plastic bag?
    2. During the course of this investigation, items of evidence have been collected and have
    been sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for testing. Upon receiving these
    items an Agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation developed possible bare foot
    impressions, using their normal latent print process for non-porous items. These
    impressions were developed from a bag (Frederick Police Department Item #26) which
    was collected at the scene where the victim’s bodies were located.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It certainly could be. Well spotted Terri. Glass, steel, plastic, even varnished wood is non porous. The only difficulty with a plastic bag is that it’s not a rigid surface. Having said that, even if a print was made [say in oil, or sweat], the technology exists to visually map/scan a print as it was left on a creased surface.
    A lot of valuable evidence was gained in the Amanda Knox case from a partial footprint left in blood on a blue bath mat. Despite the uneven, rough and porous surface, it was found to be male-sized print and probably left by her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.


    • After reading all the information you posted regarding oil tanks (great research by the way) I would venture to guess that he would not put a plastic bag in one of those tanks. But he might have used a plastic bag to transport bodies.
      I visualize, as you describe, Watts clambering around this crime scene barefoot and standing on a plastic bag to keep it from blowing away. If he was barefoot at that site, CBI may well have other footprints from various surfaces. The map/scan technology is very interesting because I would assume that a plastic bag, if used, would not be a flat or as you described, rigid surface.
      Pure speculation on my part. Just a thought as an attempt to interpret evidence.


      • Agree – I don’t see him putting a plastic bag in the tanks. On the other hand, if the cops retrieved it as evidence, where/how did they get it?


    • I know this is late but according to a Forensic Science website, non porous material will hold prints but those prints are fragile and need to be collected ASAP. From the website:

      “Latent prints on non-porous surfaces tend to be fragile, so they must be preserved as soon as possible. The primary technique is to expose the non-porous surface to superglue fumes (cyanoacrylate ester). Superglue reacts with moisture present in the latent print, converting the latent print into a hard plastic, and bonds it to the surface.”

      It’s from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the article can be found here. https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/bca-divisions/forensic-science/Pages/evidence-processing.aspx


  3. I watched a clip yesterday of crime scene techs (I think that’s who they were) removing 3, possibly 4 large plastic bags from the home in the evening, which looked to me like clothing, sheets, etc. Also a cage with little Deeter inside. But when I first read that Chris Watts is resisting giving palm prints, digital photos of his hands and fingerprints I thought they are going to try and prove that he strangled the girls himself (not Sha’nann) with hand and fingerprints on the necks but that can’t be, can it? They already know he dumped the bodies. So why does he not want to comply with providing palm and fingerprints? What else could they be on? You mentioned plastic Terri, might he have placed a plastic bag over their heads to asphyxiate them? Or am I just overly confused. It’s odd though that he would not wear his regular work boots during disposal time, if he had reason to be in that lot previously or walking on that type of soil then why attempt to hide bootprints. Beyond odd.


    • Pauline – excellent thought about using a plastic bag to asphyxiate. I hadn’t thought of that. But by covering their faces he might distance himself emotionally.


      • As for the bare feet, I don’t understand that. What was he using to dig a shallow grave with? A shovel? Try putting a bare foot on the edge of a shovel, then try to sink it into the ground. What happens.


  4. Nick, this case won’t go to trial until next year. If the DA goes for the death penalty jury selection will take a while and of course Colorado hasn’t put anyone to death in a very long time. It’s one of our more liberal states! Is it possible for you to go to Denver? Having you inside that court room, since they may not televise it, would be invaluable.


  5. Yes, Terri. I always try to get a visual. He likely strangled the girls while they were flat in their beds, he would be hovering over, and the older girl first. As he’s pressing his fingers into their larynx with hands around their throat their eyes would fly open, and see….daddy. He may not want to take that image to his grave. Or, he may have put a pillow over their faces, but that would add bulk and the fingers couldn’t do their work so aptly. But for sure, if he was waiting in the shadows for Sha’nann, as she turns the corner he could have had bag at the ready, over the head and pulled tight. Sorry to be so gory. Is Frederick near Boulder? I’m just beyond happy there is a new DA in town. Imagine if this case had to be prosecuted by Alex Hunter or Mary Laci. Or Stan Garnett.


  6. No DA like Hunter or Laci in Weld County.
    Frederick is only about 20 miles east of “The People’s Republic of Boulder”. But you will find a huge difference in politics in that 20 miles. Boulder County is radically liberal where Weld County is much more conservative and blue collar. Weld County was so unhappy it even considered an attempt at seceding from the state of Colorado in 2013. LOL!
    I don’t know that much about Michael Rourke the Weld County D.A. but I’m pretty sure he’s no Alex Hunter or Mary Laci.


    • My friend from Denver says Frederick is in the plains area of Colorado. And that there are only 850 houses there. If you watch the press conference again Terri, you can see the overall commitment from Rourke, the CBI, FBI, and Frederick police – and the enormous gravity of this situation on their faces – I have no doubt they will dot all of their i’s and cross all their t’s. We have similar talks of secession here in California, or rather dividing it into thirds, it won’t make the ballot though.


  7. It makes absolutely no sense why he would be barefoot. And what does it matter since he said he did go there to dispose of the bodies. A more sinister and likely possibility is that Shannon was not dead and woke up and had her feet on the ground at some point and then he subdued her again and buried her


  8. I have a thought Nick – there is a homeowner’s association. They were paying dues. There is a community pool there (and a picture I saw of Chis with his hand on the back of Sha’nann’s neck, with her feet in the pool, possibly that very pool). Why not call the homeowner’s association and request a floor plan, say you are interested in purchasing a home there. In fact there is a home right on their street listed for sale now. Of course it may be a little suspicious to want the floor plan of that very home, but it will go for sale at some point. Or plan B, I’m not sure – I think it was Websleuths, that showed the floor plan, downstairs and up, but it’s a jpg file and tiny so I could barely see it, much less print it. Do a little checking, it’s the same page that has all of the court motions that have been filed. I tried to go back to it and can’t find it.


  9. Here’s another thought – go to the Wyndham Hill community website, Frederick. There are 6 home types in their communities – Bedford, Arlington, Coronado, Hopewell, Hemingway, Dillon II. Find the one that matches the Watts home, and all of the floor plans are available. 5 bedroom 4 bath I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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