Shannan Watts always wanted to be a mother. Long before she could ever dream about starting her own family, Shannan pampered her brother and did everything to set the best example for him, her younger brother, Frankie Rzucek, said Saturday in North Carolina.
Watts, 34, and her daughters Bella, 4, Celeste, 3, and well as her unborn son, Nico, were remembered at an emotional funeral held in Pinehurst, a small community more than 70 miles from the North Carolina capital of Raleigh, where she had lived before moving to Colorado.
“She was born to be a mother, boy was she ready,” Rzucek said, as quoted by the Mirror.“She couldn’t wait, she was my mom times 10. Growing up she was a perfect role model.”
Watts was found in a shallow grave and the girls were found in the oil tanks on the property of an oil company in Frederick, Colorado, in mid-August. Shannan’s husband, Chris Watts, 33, is facing nine felony counts, including five counts of first-degree murder and one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy.
Watts was 15 weeks pregnant when she was killed. According to KCTV, the woman had reportedly been planning a gender-reveal party the following Saturday, during which she was set to announce to her family and friends that the Watts were adding a baby boy to the family, whom they were going to name Nico.
The family of Shannan would like to see a law passed to recognize the lives of unborn children like Nico, according to the Mirror report.
In a traditional Catholic ceremony, the three coffins were brought in while “Amazing Grace” was played.
“The great mystery is God can bring good even out of suffering and death,” Father John Forbes said. “At times like these it’s acceptable to be angry with God.”
The service, which was live-streamed by the local funeral home, was watched by more than 8,000 viewers. The case has grabbed national attention, evidenced by the outpouring of support the family has received from complete strangers.
Some say that the case has touched them because of how relatable Shannan Watts was as an “average mom.”
“Even if they’re not tied to her or her family in any way, they feel a connection,” said Tammy Greenblatt, 43, of Pinehurst, who has followed the case, but does not know the family, the Denver Post reported.
Rzucek described his older sister as an ambitious, outgoing woman who wished to be a mother above all else, even though her battle with lupus made pregnancy more challenging.
“She was ready to take on the world, and we know she did.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Shanann Watts’ memory to the Lupus Foundation of America in Washington, D.C.; the Frederick Police Department’s missing persons division; or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.