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The Watts Family Murder: Chris Watts 

Imagine waking up to the news of the death of a mother and her two daughters, And worst of all, the alleged perpetrator is the husband and father of the two children. That was the news throughout Frederick, Colorado, on 13th August 2018, when Christopher Lee Watts reportedly murdered his pregnant wife and their daughters. Such information was heartbreaking to the immediate family and the nation at large. At Robert J. DeBry & Associates, we have personal injury lawyers like the ones used to help build this case. Here in this blog, we will break down this still-shocking crime


According to online sources, Christopher Watts and Shanann Rzucek met in 2010. They later got engaged and became husband and wife on 3rd November 2012 in Mecklenburg County. Bella Marie Watts and Celeste Cathryn Watts, born in 2013 and 2015, respectively, were the couple’s two daughters. 

We established that Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant at her death. 

The Disappearance

It all began when Shanann missed a scheduled business meeting and Nickole Atkinson, who drove her home the previous night, reported her and the girls missing. Christopher was at work when Atkinson notified him and the Frederick police department. 

The welfare check by the Frederick police discovered the family dog unharmed, but there was no sign of Shanann nor the two girls. Initially, Christopher informed the police that he wasn’t aware of where his wife and children might be. In fact, during his interviews with several media houses outside the house, he pleaded for his family’s return. 

Arrest and Charges

After failing a polygraph test and confessing to murdering Shanann, Christopher was arrested on 15th August 2018. The arrest affidavit claimed that he was having an affair and he had requested separation from his wife. However, we researched at Robert J. DeBry & Associates, finding that during the investigation, Christopher claimed that Shanann had tried killing their two girls in response to the separation request. 

It was then that Christopher strangled Shanann out of rage. He then smothered the girls with a blanket over their heads before transporting the bodies to a remote oil-storage site that his employer had leased. On 21st August, the court charged Christopher with three counts of 1st-degree murder.


From a personal injury lawyer perspective, we established through research that Christopher’s wife died primarily due to strangulation and the two girls due to suffocation. For that reason, Christopher was sentenced to five life sentences on 19th November after pleading guilty to the murders on 6th November. 

Three were consecutive, while the remaining two were concurrent without any possibility of parole.


By |2022-08-12T16:13:28-07:00June 27th, 2022|wrongful death|0 Comments

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