Murdered Shanann Watts and her two young daughters laid to rest in emotional funeral

Hundreds were in attendance at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina, to pay their last respects to Shanann Watts and her two daughters.


                            Murdered Shanann Watts and her two young daughters laid to rest in emotional funeral

The nation is still reeling from the horrific nature of the murders that claimed the lives of 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste. But the time had come to bid a final goodbye, with hundreds assembling to pay their respects at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where the mother grew up and where their funeral was being held.

As the pallbearers carried their three caskets into the church, several in the crowd could be seen struggling to control their tears, and the ceremony began with a congregational singing of  Amazing Grace. Scripture readings and additional hymns followed, after which the overseeing Father John Forbes addressed the gathered mourners.

The service was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst (Source: Google Maps)
The service was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst (Source: Google Maps)

"Shanann was a woman of love," he proclaimed, according to People. "She loved God, her family, and her friends. She was a woman of determination. She had dreams to be fulfilled, and she worked towards those dreams. She wanted to make a difference. She wanted to be an exceptional wife and mother." He added, "Bella Marie and Celeste Catherine were light for all those around them. They were filled with life and joy, and they shared those with all those they encountered."

Shanann was said to be 15 weeks pregnant with a boy, Nico, at the time of her murder, and official documents state she died "as a result of the unlawful termination of pregnancy." While husband and killer Chris Watts has been charged with one count of first-degree unlawful termination of pregnancy, there have been increasing calls for him to be charged with fetal homicide as well. But Colorado remains one of just 12 states in the country not to have a law that can see the 33-year-old punished with such. 

In his sermon, the priest mentioned this particular topic as well, revealing the family would fight for a law to be passed that would recognize the lives of unborn children such as Nico. However, Forbes also preached to mourners the family's message of love and peace, saying, "They do not want vengeance and death, but justice and light."

Shanann Watts and her two daughters were murdered by Chris Watts (Source: Change.org)
Shanann Watts and her two daughters were murdered by Chris Watts (Source: Change.org)

The priest also took out time to read out statements from the mother's family. In his statement, Shanann's brother Frankie Rzucek disclosed how she was 'born to be a mother' his worries at being unable to protect them because they lived so far away. "Closets were full even before she knew she was pregnant. She couldn't wait," he wrote. "She was very successful and independent before any man came along, and that's just the way she wanted it. I was always worried about her and the girls being so far because I couldn't protect them."

Forbes also read out a statement from Shanann's mother, Sandra. "Thank you, heavenly father. I know our family is with you in paradise; I can’t thank you enough," she had written. "Please give every soul on earth who has prayed, cried or reached out to us only your precious blessings. I can only pray to you that this tragedy changes everyone’s soul to be close to you. Please continue to hold us all in your love and protection."

The service, unsurprisingly, did not carry a single mention of Chris Watts. According to court documents, he has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder after deliberation, two counts of first-degree murder — victim under the position of trust, one count of first-degree unlawful termination of pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. The 33-year-old is currently being held without bail in the Weld County Jail in Colorado.