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    Georgia is paying attention to what's happening in other states and around the world with measles.  Measles cases have been identified in 21 states and Washington, D.C. --- 107 in all. Georgia has not seen a case since 2016 but three cases have been reported in Florida and experts say that's close enough. Sheila Lovett directs the immunization program for the state and says a 93.3 percent vaccine coverage rate is serving Georgians well. 'There is a level of protection that is there that is keeping the disease out of our communities. Measles cases hit a record high in Europe. 41,000 cases of infection and 37 deaths in the first half of 2018,' she said. 'Europe is very alarming because the cases are widespread. But you have to look at that coverage rate there as well compared to what we have here.' TRENDING STORIES: Plane carrying famous rapper blows 2 tires, will try emergency landing Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says 15-year-old girl rescued; 4 people accused of trafficking, pimping her for sex Facts show the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease. It's recommended children be vaccinated at 12 months and get a booster between 4 and 6 years old. 'We cannot make them vaccinate their children. What we can do is continue to educate, continue to provide the facts,' she said. Lovett says 'worst case' measles can be a life or death situation, but a vaccine can help protect you from even the mildest complications.  'If you're going to travel is that you've been vaccinated and have received those two doses,' she said. What about the other 7 percent of people who are not vaccinated? That's where we rely on what's called 'herd immunity' since such a high percentage of people who should be vaccinated from this area, they rely on that stat to keep the disease out of the community.. 
  • A man accused of shooting and killing a man in a Walmart parking lot appeared in court Tuesday.  Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said that while he does believe Troy Hunte killed Fadil Delkic, a refugee from the Bosnian War, in the parking lot of a Snellville Walmart Sunday, he is not convinced there was malice involved. “Clearly there was provocation on both sides, so that's the reason they made that choice,” Porter said. Sunday afternoon, shoppers at the Scenic Highway store were sent into a panic after a shot was fired outside.  “All you saw was everyone running,” witness Robin Reynolds told Channel 2 Action News. [READ MORE: Bosnian War survivor identified as victim in Walmart parking lot shooting] Witnesses said Hunte, his girlfriend and their child were heading into the store as Delkic was driving away. Hunte's girlfriend apparently thought Delkic pulled too close to them in a crosswalk. TRENDING STORIES: Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says Man arrested in death of Mollie Tibbetts details what happened Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating The two argued, she slapped Delkic, then police said Hunte shot and killed the Bosnian refugee.  Hunte made his first court appearance Tuesday on what are now voluntary manslaughter charges.   Porter said the charges may change as his team investigates. He hinted Hunte may claim self-defense. “There are two questions in this case. Number one: Was there a right to defend him or his girlfriend? And number two: Was he justified in using deadly force?” Porter said. Delkic is getting a lot of support. An online fundraising effort has taken in $25,000 in less than a day.  Some of Delkic's family are not only asking why the suspect is not charged with murder, but why the woman who first argued with Delkic has not also been charged. “There was a child to consider. There were other issues that taking her into custody at this point was not necessary for the public safety,” Porter said. Porter said the woman is not entirely cleared yet. “That's something that is still under investigation and she may be (charged),” Porter said.
  • Court documents detail what a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts. An affidavit filed Tuesday says the 20-year-old Tibbetts was running on July 18 in a rural area near Brooklyn, in central Iowa, when a car driven by Christian Bahena Rivera approached her. During questioning Monday, Rivera acknowledged making contact with Tibbetts, first by pursuing her in his car and then getting out and running beside her. Rivera told investigators he became angry when Tibbetts showed a cell phone and threatened to call police. He says he panicked and then “blocked” his memory. He says he does not recall what happened but found an earpiece from headphones in his lap and realized he’d put Tibbetts’ in his trunk. TRENDING STORIES: 7 scenic drives that will make you love Georgia even more Man accused of killing wife, daughters says he walked in on wife strangling children Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating He opened the trunk and noticed blood on the side of her head. The affidavit says he carried Tibbetts’ body to a cornfield and covered her with corn stalks. When he was questioned by authorities, he led investigators to the site. Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder.
  • Channel 2 Action News learned an officer under investigation for assaulting a teenager faced similar charges years ago. Sgt. Richard Goodine, of the East Point Police Department, is under investigation after a 15-year-old girl accused him of sexual assault. We first brought you this story on Monday on Channel 2 Action News at 6.  Channel 2's Mark Winne spoke to the victim's mother, who said her daughter was terrified and eventually told her about the incident. 'She was just so scared and terrified,' she said. The family's lawyer, Thomas Reynolds, said the officer stalked the halls of a hospital looking for the teenager he's accused of assaulting. 'It's very troubling to hear that this gentleman may have a history of this type of abuse, this type of abuse of authority,' Reynolds said. TRENDING STORIES: Plane carrying famous rapper blows 2 tires, will try emergency landing Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says 15-year-old girl rescued; 4 people accused of trafficking, pimping her for sex The family's attorney said the mother of the 15-year-old girl who reported Goodine detained her at Sykes Park in East Point in the early morning darkness Monday, drove her around the city in his police car and sexually assaulted her in Village Highlands Apartments... A Georgia Bureau of Investigation document indicates East Point Police requested GBI assistance, quote, 'It was alleged that East Point Police Department Sgt. Richard Goodine molested a juvenile female while on duty.' Now, East Point Police Chief Tommy Gardner has confirmed to us Goodine was investigated in 2011 for sexual battery and child molestation, but the Fulton County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute determining that moving forward with the case would not be in the best interest of the alleged victim. He said Goodine maintained his innocence.  The chief indicated on Tuesday afternoon via text to Winne that the alleged victim in that case was also 15 years old.  'The GBI investigated the same officer in 2011 and that case was turned over to the DA's office, and then in this new case that same officer is being investigated for sexual offenses against a minor,' said GBI spokeswoman Nellie Miles. Reynolds said he's trying to locate a witness who may have seen Goodine's police SUV while sitting on a utility box near building 1757 in Village Highlands smoking.
  • While it's no longer true that everyone who works hard for a living gets Labor Day weekend off, one thing about the end of summer holiday has remained the same: Atlanta can't be outdone for Labor Day entertainment options. »RELATED: How to survive Dragon Con 2018 Of course, they're not 'one size fits all.' So peruse this list carefully to determine which of the end-of-summer bounty you'd enjoy the most come this Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. For the planners These Labor Day fetes are not just geared to the plan-aheaders because some of these events are drop-in oriented, but they are for those who can use work skills on their day off to plan transpo, tickets and such. These Labor Day festivals and events will be worth the time spent as the group date or family outing personal planner: Dragon Con: Aug. 30-Sept. 3 (Downtown) Get your nerd on all weekend long at the largest sci-fi/fantasy convention. It's full of games, panel discussions, fan events and celebrity meet-and-greets with Hyatt Regency Atlanta as the center. Keep in mind that planning is a definite necessity since parking is limited and zaniness abounds. MARTA, take the wheel. AJC Decatur Book Festival: Aug. 31-Sept. 2 Going on 13 years, the festival in downtown Decatur Square is held every Labor Day weekend and this year will bring more than 300 well-known authors and illustrators and tens of thousands of readers together for three days. Atlanta theater legend Kenny Leon will serve as the keynote speaker during the kickoff ceremonies at 8 p.m. Friday. »RELATED: AJC Decatur Book Festival: 14 fabulous events for kids and teens LudaDay Weekend: Aug. 31-Sept. 3 Since 2005, rapper, actor and humanitarian Christopher 'Ludacris' Bridges has turned Labor Day weekend over to social service and responsibility, bringing together the Atlanta community and Luda's celebrity colleagues in the process. Money raised over the weekend will go towards The Ludacris Foundation and other charities benefiting children. Events within the event include such fun stuff as a Celebrity Bowling Challenge and TopGolf Takeover. Atlanta Black Pride Weekend: Aug. 29-Sept. 4 Show your pride, your allyship and revel in the entertainment at one of the largest Black Gay Pride events in the world. Events take place all over the city, including symposium, seminars and social events. Don't miss Piedmont Park's Pure Heat Community Festival from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 , entertainment and signature events. You say you just want to enjoy Labor Day, and never mind the theme? Atlanta's got plenty going on Labor Day weekend for that crowd, too. Try any of these: Dragon Con parade: Sept. 1 Get in on the fabulous energy of Dragon Con without having to buy tickets or don a costume. Throngs of fans, families and the curious abide along nearly a mile of Peachtree Street for the ultimate in people watching. Just keep in mind that if you want to see lots, you gotta get there early. And MARTA is highly recommended. 2018 National Puppet Slam: Sept. 1 A fine offering from the Atlanta treasure, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the slam just happens to fall on the Saturday of Labor Day. Catch humorous, stunning and ingenious short-form puppetry from puppet artists across the nation. Note, though, this is an 18-plus performance and the museum's Beer and Wine Bar opens one hour before show time. Taste Of Soul Atlanta Festival Concert Series: Sept. 1-2 Not exactly Labor Day-themed, but one of Atlanta's most enjoyable festivals, TOSA, is free for all the city to enjoy. Part music, part family-friendly celebration of soul and Southern food, this year's festival is headlined by Kelly Price & PJ Morton. Chick-fil-A College Football Kickoff games: Sept. 1 and Sept. 4  College football already? Enjoy being there at the start when the season kicks off with the Auburn Tigers vs. the Washington Huskies at 3:30 on Saturday. Bye bye summer, we hate to see you go. Truth is, by the first weekend in September, some of us are ready to move along to sweater weather and pumpkin spice. But if you want to bid a fond farewell to the summer (even though the heat's gonna linger, let's be honest) or savor the heat and summer traditions that you may not have gotten to this year, try these Labor Day unofficial end-of-summer activities: Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens: Aug. 31-Sept. 3 A nostalgic, even romantic way to bid adieu to summer, the festival goes all out with a Friday Night Balloon Glow, tethered balloon rides, live music and beach activities. Stone Mountain Park Labor Day Weekend: Sept. 1-Sept.3 Live it up for the last bit of summer. Pack up the fam, grab your PBJs or an artisanal picnic basket and don't forget the lawn chairs. Then set off for Stone Mountain for a weekend of rock climbing, hiking and other fun in the sun. Once everyone is worn out, cozy up for the Labor Day version of Stone Mountain's mountainside laser show, followed by a special fireworks display. Should you desire to plunge even further into the wild to say goodbye to summer, check out the many options available Labor Day weekend at Georgia State Parks, which range from rustic camping to historical re-enactment. For those who will be joining us late... Some Atlanta working folk are going to wake up Labor Day Monday and realize they haven't done a single thing to make the three-day weekend Labor Day-ish, not even wear a red, white and blue T-shirt for a few hours. But it's not too late! You can still catch a quick meal that says you grilled out or gathered with friends when you didn't. A few of the places that fit the bill and are open Labor Day Monday include: Pittypat's Porch, at the ready with a peach margarita and a plate of fried chicken. Shake Shack in Buckhead, serving up its inimitable 'Shack-cago Dog,' recommended being consumed with a side of cheese fries since you have until tomorrow to digest. Bantam + Biddy will serve you breakfast any time that day, very Southern, yes, we mean gravy. So it's not traditional Labor Day fare; maybe you start your own tradition.
  • Gwinnett County has confirmed its first human case of West Nile Virus this season. There are now three suspected human cases statewide.  Channel 2's Carol Sbarge said despite the spread of the mosquito-borne illness, the county is not planning any additional mosquito spraying. They are instead focusing on an educational campaign to warn the public.  Sbarge spoke with Pilar Lujan and her daughter Tuesday at Shorty Howell Park in Duluth. Lujan said she had no idea about a new case from the Gwinnett County Health Department.  TRENDING STORIES: 7 scenic drives that will make you love Georgia even more Man accused of killing wife, daughters says he walked in on wife strangling children Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating 'I didn't know that, but it's important information,' Lujan said.'Now we need to be careful.'  Health officials want people to be on the lookout for mosquitos. Last month, dozens of the insects tested positive for the virus. The DeKalb Board of Health says there are three confirmed or probable human cases statewide.  'The problem is kids,' Desmond Carlile, another Gwinnett resident, told Sbarge.'You have newborn kids and you can’t determine and know when a mosquito is going be on them you know.  Nobody knows, you’re only gonna feel that bite.” Officials say if you have to go outside, use insect repellent with DEET and make sure to get rid of any standing water near your home or business.  Lujan said she's going to spread the word to family and friends and will take more precautions.   “I think put a bug spray on, keep at home in the evening time,' Lujan said.  For privacy reasons, Gwinnett County did not release details about the victim but said that person is recovering. 
  • A teenage girl was freed from a human trafficking operation during a dramatic raid at a Cobb County hotel, police said.  Marietta police said the 15-year-old victim called 911 around 6 a.m. Monday to report that she had been forced to have sex with multiple men at a hotel room. 'Based on her statements, she was being told she would be killed if she tried to leave,' said Chuck McPhilamy, with the Marietta Police Department. Officers were able to rescue the child and were able to later arrest four suspects. The suspects are facing the following state charges: Kamari Bolden, 22, of Atlanta was charged with Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude Laura Waugh, 17, of Marietta was charged with Giving False Name and Date of Birth and Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude  Kenneth Thomas, 22, of Fairburn was charged with Keeping a Place of Prostitution, Pimping and Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude  Douglas White, 26, of Dallas was charged with Pimping and Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude TRENDING STORIES: Father accused of killing pregnant wife, 2 daughters denied bond in court Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating College student last seen jogging more than 1 month ago found dead All four suspects were arrested and booked into Cobb Adult Detention Center. Witnesses told Channel 2 Action News that dozens of officers swarmed the motel to make the bust. 'They started moving in while we were working, and the next thing you knew, there was a big van and a SWAT tank,' said witness Cody Matrone.

News

  • A 61-year-old woman was pinned between her car and a gas pump after a four-car crash at a Lithonia gas station, DeKalb County police said.  Her grandchildren were inside the her car at the time, according to Channel 2 Action News.  The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition following the Monday evening wreck at the Circle K gas station in the intersection of Covington Highway and Evans Mill Road, DeKalb County spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said.  Campbell said the woman was pumping gas when a gray vehicle sped into the gas station at a high rate of speed. The car crashed into a pick-up truck, causing it to crash into a Nissan SUV, Campbell said. The SUV slammed into the woman’s car, pinning her against the gas pump.  Campbell said the people, believed to be juveniles, inside the gray vehicle ran from the scene.  No other details were released.  In other news:
  • Georgia is paying attention to what's happening in other states and around the world with measles.  Measles cases have been identified in 21 states and Washington, D.C. --- 107 in all. Georgia has not seen a case since 2016 but three cases have been reported in Florida and experts say that's close enough. Sheila Lovett directs the immunization program for the state and says a 93.3 percent vaccine coverage rate is serving Georgians well. 'There is a level of protection that is there that is keeping the disease out of our communities. Measles cases hit a record high in Europe. 41,000 cases of infection and 37 deaths in the first half of 2018,' she said. 'Europe is very alarming because the cases are widespread. But you have to look at that coverage rate there as well compared to what we have here.' TRENDING STORIES: Plane carrying famous rapper blows 2 tires, will try emergency landing Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says 15-year-old girl rescued; 4 people accused of trafficking, pimping her for sex Facts show the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease. It's recommended children be vaccinated at 12 months and get a booster between 4 and 6 years old. 'We cannot make them vaccinate their children. What we can do is continue to educate, continue to provide the facts,' she said. Lovett says 'worst case' measles can be a life or death situation, but a vaccine can help protect you from even the mildest complications.  'If you're going to travel is that you've been vaccinated and have received those two doses,' she said. What about the other 7 percent of people who are not vaccinated? That's where we rely on what's called 'herd immunity' since such a high percentage of people who should be vaccinated from this area, they rely on that stat to keep the disease out of the community.. 
  • Marlins right-hander Jose Urena dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension for intentionally hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch. Urena began serving the suspension Tuesday. The Marlins, fearful the Braves might retaliate, had already decided Urena wouldn't pitch against them during a four-game series later this week. 'It seems like there's no reason to open that back up,' manager Don Mattingly said. 'We don't need that.' Urena is expected to return at Boston on Aug. 28. He hit Acuna on the left arm with his first pitch, triggering a melee in the Marlins' 5-2 loss in Atlanta last Wednesday. Acuna went into the game having homered in five straight games, including four homers in the three games against Miami — three of them leading off. Acuna left the game injured but was back in the lineup the next day. Urena was ejected. His next start came Sunday, when he pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game to beat Washington 12-1. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • West Virginia's Republican House speaker resigned Tuesday to run for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, fueling accusations by Democrats that an unprecedented move to impeach state Supreme Court justices represents a power grab by GOP lawmakers. Speaker Tim Armstead disclosed his plans on Twitter. Though the secretary of state's office has said he's not required to resign, Armstead said he was doing so to make sure his candidacy is above question. House lawmakers recently impeached four of the court's five justices, prompting one to resign. All four were ordered Tuesday to appear in the Senate on Sept. 11 to answer accusations against them. The impeachment probe was sparked by questions involving more than $3 million in renovations to the justices' offices and expanded to broader accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. Armstead had recused himself from the House debate over impeachment because he had previously expressed interest in serving on the court. More recently, he and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who is not seeking re-election and lost in his bid for the U.S. Senate this spring, both applied to be considered for temporary appointments to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Justice. Those appointments would last until the November election is certified. Jenkins has declared himself a candidate for a different seat on the court in the November election, which is officially nonpartisan. The West Virginia Democratic Party said on Twitter of Armstead's resignation, 'No surprise here, more self-serving moves for political gain and abandoning the people of West Virginia in his district.' In a statement announcing his resignation, Armstead said he intends 'to spend as much time as possible meeting West Virginians and earning their trust and their votes to represent them on their Supreme Court of Appeals.' Armstead filed by Tuesday's deadline to run in the nonpartisan race for the vacancy created last month when Menis Ketchum retired and agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud related to his personal use of a state vehicle and fuel. Robin Davis stepped down from the court Aug. 14 after lawmakers voted to impeach her and justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker. Davis and at least one Democratic lawmaker have accused the Republican-led legislature of turning what they said was a legitimate pursuit of charges against Loughry into a blatant attempt to take over the court. Democratic Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer of Monongalia County has called impeaching the other justices 'a power grab ... and using the impeachment process to take over another branch of government.' Jenkins and six other candidates have filed to run for Davis' seat in November. Armstead and nine other candidates have filed to run for the seat Ketchum vacated. Loughry faces six charges related to accusations of spending $363,000 on office renovations, taking home a $42,000 antique desk owned by the state, and lying to a House committee. Loughry, Walker and Workman all face charges of abusing authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies about the use of state vehicles, office computers at home and other matters. Workman faces two separate impeachment articles related to accusations that she allowed senior status judges to be paid higher wages than are allowed. Armstead was appointed to a House seat from Kanawha County in 1998 to fill a vacancy and was elected later that year. He served as House minority leader and was named speaker in December 2014 after Republicans gained majority control of both the House and Senate for the first time in eight decades. Some Democrats have said the impeachments were strategically timed by majority Republican lawmakers to allow the governor to name their temporary replacements. 'There's never been any time in history where one branch of government supposedly controls another branch,' Senate Democratic leader Roman Perzioso said Monday. 'And for the governor to be able to appoint people to be replaced, obviously there's that apprehension by a lot of the Democratic senators and House members, too.
  • A man accused of shooting and killing a man in a Walmart parking lot appeared in court Tuesday.  Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said that while he does believe Troy Hunte killed Fadil Delkic, a refugee from the Bosnian War, in the parking lot of a Snellville Walmart Sunday, he is not convinced there was malice involved. “Clearly there was provocation on both sides, so that's the reason they made that choice,” Porter said. Sunday afternoon, shoppers at the Scenic Highway store were sent into a panic after a shot was fired outside.  “All you saw was everyone running,” witness Robin Reynolds told Channel 2 Action News. [READ MORE: Bosnian War survivor identified as victim in Walmart parking lot shooting] Witnesses said Hunte, his girlfriend and their child were heading into the store as Delkic was driving away. Hunte's girlfriend apparently thought Delkic pulled too close to them in a crosswalk. TRENDING STORIES: Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says Man arrested in death of Mollie Tibbetts details what happened Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating The two argued, she slapped Delkic, then police said Hunte shot and killed the Bosnian refugee.  Hunte made his first court appearance Tuesday on what are now voluntary manslaughter charges.   Porter said the charges may change as his team investigates. He hinted Hunte may claim self-defense. “There are two questions in this case. Number one: Was there a right to defend him or his girlfriend? And number two: Was he justified in using deadly force?” Porter said. Delkic is getting a lot of support. An online fundraising effort has taken in $25,000 in less than a day.  Some of Delkic's family are not only asking why the suspect is not charged with murder, but why the woman who first argued with Delkic has not also been charged. “There was a child to consider. There were other issues that taking her into custody at this point was not necessary for the public safety,” Porter said. Porter said the woman is not entirely cleared yet. “That's something that is still under investigation and she may be (charged),” Porter said.
  • Shanann Watts’ father sobbed in a Colorado courtroom Tuesday as a judge recited the charges against his son-in-law -- charges that indicate detectives believe Chris Watts may have killed his children before his pregnant wife returned home from a business trip.  Chris Watts, 33, of Frederick, was charged Monday with nine felony charges: five counts of first-degree murder, including two for killing a child under the age of 12 while the defendant was in a position of trust, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. He is being held without bail in the Weld County Jail.  The defendant faces a potential death penalty on the murder charges.  In a confession to police, Chris Watts alleged that he strangled Shanann Watts, 34, after seeing her do the same to their two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Disbelieving investigators charged him with all three murders, as well as with the death of the couple’s unborn child.   >> Related story: Colorado father charged with killing pregnant wife, 2 daughters, says wife killed children Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant with a son they planned to name Niko, friends and family have said. A Change.org petition started by friends demands that Colorado adopt a new law, named “Niko’s Law,” to make the killing of an unborn baby like the Watts’ son first-degree murder. As Chris Watts sat stone-faced throughout Tuesday’s proceedings, which were streamed live by CBS Denver, Judge Marcello Kopcow advised Watts of the updated charges levied against him. Watts had been in custody since Wednesday on suspicion of murder and tampering with evidence.  Chris Watts told 9News in Denver in an interview the day before his arrest that he had nothing to do with the deaths of his family.  “Everybody’s going to have their own opinion on anything like this,” Watts said in the TV interview. “I just want people to know that I want my family back. I want them safe and I want them here.” The charges Kopcow read in court state that Chris Watts caused the death of his wife on Aug. 13, the day she and her daughters were reported missing by a friend. The charges related to Bella and Celeste, however, state that he caused their deaths “between and including Aug. 12, 2018, and Aug. 13, 2018.” Shanann Watts was out of town until early Aug. 13.  An arrest affidavit released Monday states that the friend who reported Shanann and the girls missing, Nickole Utoft Atkinson, dropped Shanann off at the Watts’ home just before 2 a.m. that day. The two women had been on a business trip to Arizona for Le-Vel, a health and wellness company that sells nutritional products.  “Nicole (sic) stated Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant and was not feeling well during the trip,” the affidavit states.  Atkinson became concerned later that morning because Shanann Watts missed a 10 a.m. doctor’s appointment and was not answering phone calls or texts. She went to the couple’s home at 2825 Saratoga Trail to check on her.  Read the charges against Chris Watts below. “(Nickole) went to Shanann’s residence and discovered her car in the garage with car seats positioned inside of it,” the affidavit says. “(She) attempted to enter the front door, but a latch prevented it from opening more than three inches.” Atkinson called Chris Watts at work and asked him to return home to check on his wife, the court document reads. She was afraid that Shanann Watts, who reportedly had lupus, had passed out or was suffering some other medical emergency.  Atkinson also called police, who arrived before Chris Watts did. Once Chris Watts arrived and allowed officers into the house, they found Shanann Watts’ personal belongings -- her cellphone, purse, wallet and medication -- inside.  They also found a pair of women’s shoes kicked off by the front door and a suitcase, apparently from her Arizona trip, at the bottom of the stairs, the affidavit states.  Chris Watts initially told investigators that around 4 a.m. that day, he told his wife he wanted a separation. He said it was an emotional conversation, with both of them upset and crying, but that it was not argumentative.  Chris Watts told detectives that when he left for work just before 5:30 a.m., Shanann Watts told him she and the girls would be going to a friend’s home later in the day. He said that he backed his work truck up into the driveway to load some tools into it before leaving.  Read the warrantless arrrest affidavit in the Chris Watts case below. The truck’s movements were captured by a neighbor’s security camera, the affidavit says.  During the investigation into the disappearance of Shanann Watts and her daughters, investigators learned that Chris Watts was having an affair with a female co-worker at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. -- an affair that he denied in previous interviews.  Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday night, at which time Anadarko fired him. In a subsequent police interview Thursday, after being allowed to speak to his father, Chris Watts admitted strangling Shanann Watts the morning of Aug. 13, the affidavit states.  “Chris stated after he told Shanann he wanted a separation, he walked downstairs for a moment and then returned to his bedroom to speak with Shanann again,” the affidavit states. “While in the bedroom, via baby monitor located on Shanann’s nightstand, he observed Bella ‘sprawled’ out on her bed and blue and Shanann actively strangling Celeste. “Chris said he went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.” Chris Watts told detectives that, when he backed his truck into the driveway, it was his wife and daughters’ bodies he loaded into the back seat, the affidavit states. He said he drove the bodies to an Anadarko work site just north of Roggan, an unincorporated area of Weld County about 40 miles from the family’s home in Frederick.  A Google Maps search using the coordinates of the site, which are included in the affidavit, shows a desolate area in which a dirt road leads to a couple of large oil tanks.  Chris Watts told investigators buried Shanann in a shallow grave near the tanks and dumped his daughters’ bodies inside the tanks.  “Chris was presented an aerial photograph of the tank battery area and identified three separate locations in which he placed the bodies,” the affidavit reads. Prior to Watts’ alleged confession, investigators did a drone search of the site and spotted a bedsheet in a field near the tank battery, the document says. The sheet matched the pattern of pillow cases and a top sheet discovered stuffed into a trash can in Watts’ kitchen earlier Thursday.  Shanann Watts’ body was found that afternoon, buried in a shallow grave near the oil tanks. Bella and Celeste were found inside the tanks, which were almost completely full of crude oil.  The girls’ bodies had been submerged in oil for four days, according to court documents filed by Chris Watts’ defense lawyer. The attorney, James Merson, sought to have defense experts at the autopsies of the victims, and to have DNA swabs done on the necks of the children, an apparent bid to prove that Shanann Watts killed her daughters.  Kopcow on Friday denied the motion to have defense experts present at the autopsies, but granted the request to for DNA swabs of Bella and Celeste’s necks. He denied the defense’s request that their expert take the swabs, however.  “Furthermore, defendant’s request to order prosecution to collect evidence in the manner described by defense expert is denied,” the order reads. “This court cannot order the prosecution and/or coroner how to conduct their investigation.” Kopcow said there was no indication that prosecutors or the coroner would destroy evidence, improperly collect it or fail to collect it.  The disappearance and killings of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts have captured national attention, and inspired gut-wrenching emotion from those who knew them. Shanann Watts’ father, Frank Rzucek, tearfully spoke publicly Monday ahead of the news conference at which Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke announced the charges against Chris Watts.  “We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters and Niko,” Rzucek said. “Thank you, everyone, for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. “Keep the prayers coming for our family.” Rzucek has also been active on his Facebook page, posting photos of Bella and Celeste smiling and playing together. In one post, he uploaded the song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.” “Dear Bella and Celeste and Nico,” Rzucek wrote. “Pop Pop loves you. God bless you.” He also posted several photos of Shanann Watts.  “Dad loves you,” he wrote on one. On another, he wrote, “We got you, baby.” Family friends who let Chris Watts stay in their home after his wife and daughters went missing expressed shock over the accusations against him -- and apologized for taking him in and defending him against swirling rumors.  “Had we had any inclination that we thought he was involved at all, no way would I have let him in my house with my wife and kid,” Nick Thayer told 9News Thursday, the day Watts confessed and the bodies were found.  “They were family,” his wife, Amanda Thayer, told the news station. “They spent Thanksgivings with us and Fourth of Julys and all the holidays. It’s just unreal.” The couple, who also took in the Watts family’s dog, Deeter, until Shanann’s family could pick him up, is now left figuring out how to tell their 5-year-old daughter that her playmates are dead. They are also struggling to understand the crime themselves, 9News reported.  “I’m so sorry. We didn’t know. We thought we were doing the right thing,’ Nick Thayer said. “It’s all we can do is say we’re sorry that we defended him on social media. We really had no idea that he was capable of doing something like we’ve.... I hate it. I hate all of this.”