After he strangled his pregnant wife, Chris Watts wrapped her body in a sheet and drove 45 minutes to an oil field with his two daughters in the truck. Once there, he buried the woman’s body before smothering their children to death.
On Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, attorney Steven Lambert, who is representing slain mom Shanann Watts‘ family in a wrongful death suit against Chris, shared chilling details of the murders of the mom and girls Bella, 4, and 3-year-old Celeste.
Lambert’s account cites Watts’ confession to police from a Wisconsin prison on Feb. 18. According to Thomas Grant, another lawyer representing Shanann’s family, Watts confessed new details to investigators after finding religious faith.
In Watts’ confession, he didn’t disclose what he talked about with the girls during the long drive, Lambert said.
When he arrived at the remote location outside Frederick, Colorado, Watts left the vehicle running while he unloaded his wife’s lifeless body. Watts, 33, dug a shallow grave and buried her while his daughters watched.
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But, according to Watts’ confession, the night became even more horrific.
“He walks over, takes CeCe’s [Celeste’s] favorite blanket, and smothers her,” Lambert told Dr. Phil McGraw. “Then, he takes her body, takes it out of the vehicle. At this point, Bella had unbuckled herself from the vehicle. He went back to the vehicle. Bella said, ‘Please, Daddy, don’t do to me what you just did to CeCe.’”
Watts smothered Bella as well, and disposed of the girls’ bodies in large oil tanks. All three bodies were found three days later.
According to Lambert, Bella tried desperately to survive. “There was a struggle from Bella. I believe there were signs that she fought for her life,” Lambert said. “Of the things that have been hard for [Shanann’s family] to comprehend and to accept in this reality, what happened to Bella in those last moments has been the hardest.”
In November, Watts pleaded guilty to all three killings. He is currently serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Watts was having an affair with a co-worker at the time of the killings. Authorities have cited his desire for a “fresh start” with his mistress as his motive.
A February 18 statement to PEOPLE from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says that authorities “interviewed Christopher Watts for the purpose of developing further insight into the case. Watts provided investigators with additional information about the murders of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste during the interview.”
A spokeswoman from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation tells PEOPLE the office plans to release more information on the case Thursday, adding that the office was taken by surprise by the Dr. Phil interview.
A spokesperson for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office tells PEOPLE the office is not releasing any more information on the case.
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