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The Day After Shanann Watts Was Killed, Friends Were Worried They Hadn't Heard From Her

People logo People 1/25/2020 Steve Helling
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Friends of Shanann Watts are speaking out — and remembering how they felt when they couldn’t contact Shanann but before they knew she’d been killed by her husband, Chris Watts.

On August 13, 2018, Chris Watts strangled Shannan, who was 15 weeks pregnant with the couple’s third child. Later that morning, he smothered his two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.

In a new TV special, Chris Watts, Colorado Killer Dad: The Friends Speak, four friends sit down to discuss their feelings about the tragic case.

One friend, identified as Cassandra, tells the show that she knew something was wrong when Shanann didn’t contact her the day after her death. “Every morning, all of us would hear something from her,” says Cassandra. “She would text and say hello. She was always very open on social media about her life. So not hearing anything that morning, I was like, ‘ok…'”

a group of people posing for the camera: Facebook © Provided by People Facebook

RELATED: Behind the Scenes of Family Murderer Chris Watts’ Surprising Guilty Plea

“My first instinct was that something happened, being pregnant,” Cassandra continues. “You instantly go medical, and think, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe she passed out or something. Maybe that’s why she’s not answering the phone.'”

Another friend, identified as Zac, tells the show that he suspected something more nefarious — but was still surprised that she was dead.

“I just assumed she took off,” he says. “Or her and Chris got in a fight, so she bailed out in a hurry. I was trying to find something other than the worst-case scenario. You try to grasp for any hope possible. Honestly, what ended up transpiring was the last thing that I expected to happen.”

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a man in a blue shirt: CBI © Provided by People CBI

No one close to the Watts family was prepared for the reality of what happened. In a Feb. 18, 2019 interview from inside prison, Watts gave chilling details of the murders to authorities from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

He said his wife Shanann “may have been” praying as he strangled her to death inside their bedroom.

He also recalled how his daughter begged for her life. “Daddy, no!,” Bella screamed as her father moved in to smother her with the same blanket he’d used to kill her younger sister Celeste moments before.

“I hear it every day, when Bella was talking to me,” Watts told police. “When she said, ‘Daddy, no!'”

RELATED: Chris Watts Killed Daughters at Oil Field After Driving There With Their Mom’s Dead Body: Lawyer

a little girl posing for the camera: Shanann Watts /Facebook © Provided by People Shanann Watts /Facebook

RELATED: ‘Daddy, No!’: Chris Watts Hears Daughter’s Haunting Last Words ‘Every Day’ in Prison

Watts, now 35, pleaded guilty to all three killings. He is currently serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Chris Watts, Colorado Killer Dad: The Friends Speak premieres Saturday, January 25 at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT on the REELZ channel.

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