Chris Watts has often been described as an idiot, and his crime as idiotic. In the Jonelle Matthews case, it’s taken 34 years to locate her body. It’s not clear whether Matthews’ remains were found recently on the Cervi Ranch property, but thus far it appears to be either on the property or nearby.
If one follows the black tab below with Jonelle Matthews’ name on it, it takes one right into the territory of the Cervi Ranch, to the Watts well site.
Below is a map linking the area of Jonelle Matthew’s remains to Saratoga Trail. Whoever drove the child’s body from La Salle, had the same idea Watts’ did – that a well site would be a very good dump site, and he was right. This suggests Mathews’ murderer was an oil worker, just as Watts was.
The image below shows the approximate distance from the well site closer to the top end of the Milton Reservoir, and CERVI 319.
The distance from Jonelle Matthews’ home in La Salle to the well site where her remains were found is approximately 12 miles.
7 thoughts on “12-year-old Jonelle Matthews’ remains located at well site just 20 miles West of CERVI 319 [MAP]”
This is not only a sad, tragic, discovery, but it leads one to think of the
similarities in the location, The idea, that “hey, this oil field is a location
where a body can be hidden, wont be found.” And it wasn’t for thirty five years. Why is it, that a lot of crimes end with the body’s remains being disposed of only miles from where the murder has taken place?
It would seem in most cases, that law enforcement would be triggered
to locations closer to home.
There has to be a reason why Watts took pains to make sure his gas can fit in the bed of his truck. He walks first to one side, then the other to fit it in. It appears to have a final resting place on the right side if you are looking from the neighbor’s camera. However when he drives home day of, Aug. 13, the officer’s body cam shows it to be in the rear left side of the truck, whatever direction one wants to orient oneself to, it’s in a different location. Which means he moved it day of. Why he took it to the workplace in the first place is odd. I don’t think too many people buy his explanation he gave the agents during his second confession that he thought he could set himself on fire. Perhaps he knew he was low on gas that morning and didn’t wish to stop at a gas station.
If he wanted to soak something on a rag and press it to Shan’ann’s face a better choice may have been starter fluid, which contains diethyl ether. Mechanics sometimes use it to diagnose starting problems by determining whether the ignition system of the vehicle is functioning. It might be something Watts would have on hand. Diethyl ether has a long history as a medical anesthetic, sometimes referred to as “passing the shirt”. The starting fluid is sprayed on a piece of cloth and held up to one’s face for inhalation. The effects of inhalation (according to wikipedia), can vary, but have been known to include lightheadedness, loss of coordination, paranoia and sometimes hallucinations. Inhaling gasoline on a rag is known as “huffing”, which also cause lightheadedness however starting fluid contains diethyl ether, one of the first anesthetics used in surgery. The bruising on Shan’ann’s neck and face may have occurred during an effort to hold the towel or rag soaked with anesthetic over her head and face which would not only subdue the victim but cause a smothering effect rather than strangulation per se.
Whether Watts used something on a rag to subdue his victim before strangulation or smothering or not, he would use something he was familiar with, as a mechanic, just as he chose his burial site as a place he had familiarity with, knowing what could happen to a body submerged in oil, left in a remote environment. He planned and executed based on his knowledge and materials on hand.
Would the starter fluid or gasoline leave any residue on the skin surface that could be detected later? I know that these fluids are volatile and evaporate rapidly, but they’re also petroleum products, so conceivably they might leave an oily film that testing could detect.
With regard to the oil sites as a choice to dispose of a body, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better location. These sites are typically fenced off and the people who live nearby know not to go there – it’s off limits. Very few people *do* go there – the employees of the oil companies who tend them – and they are there for a specific purpose, to do specific jobs. They aren’t looking around for abnormalities. And these locations have an abundance of caustic fluids around. 35 years for that trail to go cold – Chris Watts got || this close…
Good to see you here again Ralph. From what I’ve read ethyl ether is a mild skin irritant, the principal physiological effect is anesthesia. There would be no residue left on the skin unless there was repeated contact – which may cause the skin to become dry and cracked. As for gasoline it contains benzene, and although it’s not a great idea to splash it on your skin, it completely evaporates leaving no fuel molecule residue.
I am curious as to why he would bring a gas can to an oil site – and he made sure to bring it as we can see on the video. His answer that he was considering blowing himself up when a much simpler answer – that he didn’t want to run out of gas on the way to work – would have sufficed, and made his answer sound suspicious. Perhaps he didn’t want to allude to the fact he was carrying dead cargo – but of course the jig was up on that score prior to his second confession.
Jonelle Matthew’s didn’t live in La Salle. She was from the west side of Greeley, so the site where her remains were found was much further from her home. Also, to the best of my knowledge and what I’ve read in regards to this discovery is that this was not an oil site 35 years ago…
Distance from central Greeley to La Salle = 6 miles. Outskirts, about half that.
Chris Watts is an idiot. 34 years ago there was no GPS on motor vehicles and our neighbors did not have cameras monitoring their homes.