Murdered mom Shanann Watts, her two daughters Bella and Celeste, and unborn son, Nico, were laid to rest in a funeral service in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Saturday, September 1.
The 34-year-old, who was 15 weeks pregnant, was allegedly killed by her husband, Chris Watts, on August 13 in Frederick, Colorado. She and her daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were reported missing that day after Chris told police that his wife’s purse, keys and cell phone were all left at home. Their bodies were found on a property belonging to Chris’ former employer three days later and the 33-year-old was charged with nine felonies, including five charges of first-degree murder, on August 20.
The funeral for Shanann and her children, which was live streamed on Facebook, began on Saturday at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church with the playing of “Wing Beneath My Wings” before three coffins were wheeled into the church, accompanied by Shanann’s family and friends as a choir sang “Amazing Grace.”
“She was our pride and joy, a true gift from God,” Shanann’s father and mother, Frank Rzucek and Sandra Onorati Rzucek, wrote in her obituary. “We were so blessed to have such a joyful and wonderful daughter whose beauty was that of a doll.”
“She had dreams to be fulfilled and she worked towards those dreams she wanted to be an exceptional wife and mother … she wanted to make a difference,” a priest told mourners on Saturday before concluding the ceremony by reading prepared messages from Shanann’s family.
“Dear Shan, I have so much to say but I will make it short. Daddy loves you, you are a wonderful daughter and great mother … you will always be daddy’s little girl,” Shanann’s father wrote.
“She was born to be a mother. Boy, was she ready, closets were full before she was pregnant,” her brother, Frankie Jr., wrote. “She wanted a great life for her children and for herself, she taught them to be brave and independent, just like Shanann … I always worried about her and the girls being so far because I couldn’t protect them.”
Chris claimed in an affidavit obtained by Us Weekly that he told Shanann that he was having an affair with a coworker and wanted a separation. He then told police that he saw “Shanann actively strangling Celeste” and “went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.”
He is being held in prison without bail and his next court appearance is scheduled for November 19. The murder charges carry a minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum of the death penalty.
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