A pregnant Colorado mother had beaten “all the odds” to conceive despite her health condition, her brother said as records revealed her husband Christopher Watts had struggled with past financial issues before he allegedly murdered the 34-year-old and their two daughters last week.
Shanann Watts was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the healthy tissues and could cause fertility issues and high-risk pregnancies. Watts’ brother, Frankie Rzucek, wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that his older sister “beat all the odds” with her pregnancies.
“No matter if her lupus was acting up or if she was pregnant, nothing stoped [sic] her from doing what needed to be done. She was very successful and driven,” Rzucek wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “When our family found out she beat all the odds and become pregnant I can't even explain our excitement.”
Rzucek said Watts was “born to be a mother” and was “blown away” by the way she stepped into motherhood when her first daughter Bella was born.
“I was exhausted by just watching my sister. She made being a parent look easy,” he wrote.
Watts, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were found dead last week a day after Christopher Watts was arrested in their murders. The 33-year-old had told reporters a day before his Wednesday arrest that he missed his wife and two daughters and was hoping for their safe return.
Shanann revealed in June she was pregnant with her third child. Her family said the mother of two was expecting a baby boy the couple planned to name Nico.
“He [Christopher Watts] stole my whole world and treated them like they were trash. I've never been so mad, sad, enraged, hurt heartbroken, lost, and shocked in all my life,” Rzucek said. “So forgive me for how I went about it. My sister and nieces meant the absolute world to me. They made me strive to be an even better man. I wanted them to be proud of their Uncle.”
Officials have not provided a motive in the alleged murders.
But prior to the deaths, the Watts family had struggled with financial issues. The couple moved from North Carolina to Colorado already bogged down by debt. They filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2015, claiming liabilities of more than $400,000, the Denver Post reported.
Shanann and Christopher Watts had a combined income of $90,000 in 2014 — but faced tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, student loans and medical bills. Christopher Watts had just begun his job as an operator for Anadarko Petroleum and reportedly earned $61,500. Shannan Watts worked at a call center at a children’s hospital and earned $18 an hour.
They said in the filing that their nearly $3,000 mortgage and $600 in monthly car payments formed the bulk of their $4,900 in monthly expenses.
Despite the bankruptcy filing, the family appeared to have a change in fortune recently after she became a seller for the product Le-Vel: THRIVE. Shanann Watts recently posted on Facebook about the trips she’s been on reportedly paid by her employer.
“We have qualified for so many amazing trips in 2 years that we never otherwise would have been able to visit!” she wrote in a June 23 Facebook post. She said she traveled to several places, including Toronto, Punta Cana and New Orleans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.