FREDERICK, Colorado — After his pregnant wife and two daughters disappeared, Christopher Watts stood on his porch in Colorado and lamented to reporters how much he missed them.

He longed for the simple things, he said, like telling his girls to eat their dinner and gazing at them as they curled up to watch cartoons.

“Last night, I had every light in the house on. I was hoping that I would just get run over by the kids running in the door, just barrel-rushing me, but it didn’t happen,” he told Denver TV station KMGH.

On Thursday, Watts was in jail after being arrested on suspicion of killing all three family members, probably before he spoke those words. Authorities did not offer a motive.

The body of 34-year-old Shanann Watts was found on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the state’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Christopher Watts used to work, police said.

Investigators were looking for the bodies of the two girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.

“As horrible as this outcome is, our role now is to do everything we can to determine exactly what occurred,” John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said at a news conference in Frederick, a small town on the grassy plains north of Denver, where fast-growing subdivisions intermingle with drilling rigs and oil wells.

Watts, 33, has not been formally charged. Because he had not yet appeared in court, there was no immediate record of whether he had hired a lawyer.

A family friend reported Shanann Watts and her daughters missing Monday, police said.

In his previous interviews with Denver TV outlets, Christopher Watts said his wife of nearly six years returned home about 2 a.m. Monday after a flight for a work trip was delayed.

He said the two had an “emotional conversation” before he left for work a few hours later and that he became concerned after she did not return his calls or texts or those of her friends. He said he came home to an empty house after a friend knocked on the door at noon and got no answer.

Shanann Watts’ Facebook account paints a portrait of a happy married life, with a constant feed of photos and videos of friends, relatives and herself. Her comments were typically upbeat, whether she was running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program.

She posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, at the ocean on vacation and at their house. On May 5, she wrote: “I love this man! He’s my ROCK!”

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