'Eerie' last photos show Shanann Watts and daughters on family outing days before their brutal murders
Michele Greer, a North Carolina resident, had accidentally snapped pictures of the Watts family while she was at Myrtle Beach with her family
Days before the gruesome murders of Shanann Watts and her two little girls, the family had gone to Myrtle Beach for an outing. Photographs of the outing have now surfaced and show the girls — Bella and Celeste — enjoying the bungee trampoline while Shanann takes their pictures. Chris Watts, Shanann's husband and the father of the children, who is also the prime suspect in their murders, can also be seen in one of the photos.
The photographs surfaced after Michele Greer, a North Carolina resident, realized that she had accidentally snapped pictures of the family while she was at Myrtle Beach with her family and decided to make them public.
Greer, who is also a mother, revealed that the two women had a conversation as the kids enjoyed themselves. She said she was "heartbroken" when she heard of the incident days after seeing the family. "She was very sweet and very loveable with the girls; it was all about the girls," Greer said.
Greer and Shanann's families met when the children wanted to play on the bungee trampolines. The two women hit it off and reportedly became instant friends.
Greer said that Shanann was absolutely amazing with her kids and that she appeared "very engaged" while Chris was aloof. Shanann also revealed in the conversation that she was going to have a baby soon.
"She was wonderful with the girls. She told me she was expecting; she was very happy. She was very engaged with her little girls. He didn’t seem engaged at all," she said referring to Chris. "There wasn’t any affection. She (Shanann) was very engaged with the girls, and he was just kind of standing there."
In the photo, Shanann can be seen snapping pictures of her eldest daughter Bella, who was 4 years old. Chris is seen sitting behind Shanann while her dad Frank Rzucek Sr is also in the picture. The photos were reportedly taken on August 2.
Approximately two weeks after the photos were taken, the news of Shanann and her daughters' dissapearance and murder made national headlines. It felt personal to Greer, she said. "I was heartbroken because I had just spoken to her two weeks ago,” Greer said. “It wasn’t just somebody I was reading about on the news, it was somebody I was engaging in a conversation with, someone I met, I had met her children. It hit hard."
Chris has recently alleged that it wasn't him who had killed the kids saying it was Shanann. In an affidavit submitted by the authorities, he claimed he saw her comitting the crime through the baby monitor. He said that Bella was "sprawled" and "blue" on her bed while Shanann was allegedly "actively strangling Celeste". At this point, Chris claimed that he "went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death" before he put "all three bodies onto the back seat of his work truck".
Greer, however, said that she didn't see an ounce of truth in Chris' story. "I don’t believe it one bit," she said. "The person I saw interacting with her kids is not the person who would kill her children."
She said she finds the picture "eerie" now and that even her children are quite bothered by what happened. "It is very eerie," she said. "I was talking to my children on the way home from school, and they don’t understand. They said, 'What happened? Why did their daddy do that?' And I said, 'Honey, I don’t know, nobody knows.'"
Chris was charged with nine felony counts including several counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday.