House in ’s ‘American Murder’ in limbo: Dad convicted of killings still owns it

The story that made national headlines back in 2018, when Chris Watts confessed to killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, is now featured in a documentary titled “American Murder: The Family Next Door.”

The house shown in the documentary where his wife, Shanann, was murdered has been on the market for two years with no interest, Newsweek reported.

The mortgage lender of the five-bedroom home in Frederick, Colorado, foreclosed on it immediately after Watts was sentenced because he wasn’t making payments, according to Newsweek. It was taken out of foreclosure after several unsuccessful auctions, the outlet reported.

With the house out of foreclosure and in “legal limbo,” Watts technically still owns the home, according to Realtor.com.

Realtor.com says the Watts’ bought the roughly 4,200-square-foot house for just under $400,000 in May 2013 and now Zillow estimates it’s worth just short of $600,000.

“It’s not getting any bids because people know the sordid history of the house, and nobody wants it,” Denver-based bankruptcy attorney Clark Dray, who works with foreclosures, told Realtor.com.

The fact that the mortgage company hasn’t chosen to buy the house does not bode well for the home’s selling price, according to Dray. The company and even real estate investors likely don’t see the house as a fruitful investment, so it sits vacant on Saratoga Trail.

“The longer the house sits vacant, the bigger the discounts. [And] it’s been vacant over two years,” real estate appraiser Orell Anderson, of Strategic Property Analytics, told Realtor.com. “When there are kids involved, the discounts are higher. People really don’t like that.”

The house is now listed as “off the market” on Zillow. Experts predict that the house will need to sell for a discount of about 15% to 25%, according to Newsweek.

The documentary lays out how Watts, who confessed, killed his 34-year-old wife and daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4,, the News & Observer reported.

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Shanann was buried in a shallow grave at a remote oil field, owned by a company Watts previously worked for. His daughters’ bodies were placed inside an oil tank, The New York Times reported.

Watts allegedly killed Shanann after telling her he had an affair. Their daughter Bella witnessed him dragging the body down the stairs, The New York Times reported.

Watts then loaded the body and his two daughters into his truck and drove 45 minutes to the oil field, the outlet reported. Once they arrived, he used a blanket to smother the girls, according to the Times.

The day after, Watts went on live TV, claiming the three of them vanished. He pleaded for his wife and daughters’ safe return, according to the Denver7. Police arrested him the following day.

Watts took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty in November 2018, according to the Times. Later that month, a judge sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole, the outlet reported.

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