The youngest of two girls was killed along with her mother and sister because Chris Watts wanted to start a new life with his mistress
The health problems she’s endured made Shanann Watts an especially grateful mom when she finally had children. Her youngest daughter, Celeste, would have turned 4 today had she not been murdered by her father, who also killed Shanann and the couple’s older daughter, Bella.
“Closets were full before she was even pregnant,” Shanann’s brother, Frankie Rzucek, wrote in a letter read aloud at his sister’s funeral. “She couldn’t wait.”
Shanann was pregnant again, expecting her third child, a son, when Chris Watts committed the triple-murder on Aug. 13, 2018.
Their firstborn, Bella, would have turned 5 years old last December 17. Celeste, who was 3 years old when she died, was born July 17, 2015.
“Oh how Shanann was so excited to be able to have another child because of her battle with Lupus,” Shanann’s family wrote in Shanann’s obituary about the arrival of Celeste. “She was determined to stay healthy and with her love for her Celeste, every moment with her was a blessing.”
Chris, 34, is serving multiple life sentences for the killings, to which he pleaded guilty last November.
He killed the girls and their mother, said Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke, so he could start a new life with a woman with whom he’d been having an affair.
After strangling Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and smothering his two daughters, with Bella putting up a struggle as she fought for her life, Chris loaded their bodies one at a time into the back of his truck.
He then hid them on a remote oil field work site where they were found days later, his wife in a shallow grave and the girls in oil tanks with openings that were just 8 inches in diameter, said Rourke.
“I have no idea who gave you the right to take their lives, but I know God and his mighty angels were there in that moment to bring them home to paradise,” Shanann’s mother, Sandra Rzucek said in court on Nov. 19, when Chris was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murders, which included that of his unborn son, which the couple planned to name Niko.
In a letter from prison sent ahead of Celeste’s birthday to his mother, Cindy Watts, Chris claims to be a changed man who has a newfound relationship with God.
“I’m still a Dad! I’m still a son! No matter what,” he wrote. “Now, I can add servant of God to that mix! He has shown me peace, peace, love and forgiveness, and that’s how I live every day.”
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In an interview from inside prison, Watts gave chilling details of the murders to authorities from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
He said Shanann “may have been” praying as he strangled her to death inside their bedroom before turning his murderous intentions to the girls.
During his confession, he said that whenever he closes his eyes, he hears his oldest daughter’s final words begging him not to kill her.
“Daddy, no!,” Bella screamed as her father moved in to smother her with the same blanket he’d used to kill Celeste first.
“I hear it every day, when Bella was talking to me,” Watts told investigators. “When she said, ‘Daddy, no!”