Shanann Rzucek met tall, handsome Christopher Watts online in 2010 and credited him as “the best thing that had ever happened” in her life. Just prior to her relationship with Chris, Shanann had received a diagnosis of lupus. It was a dark period for the young woman, but she emerged happier and better than ever, thanks, in part, to her relationship with Chris.
The happy couple was married a mere two years later in Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, where Shanann was born and raised. By 2013, they moved into a beautiful, 5-bedroom home in scenic Frederick, Colorado, and began settling in.
Chris and Shanann welcomed the birth of their first daughter, Bella, in December of that same year. Two years later, in July, Celeste was born. Both girls were healthy, happy babies who brought the couple boundless joy. In videos uploaded to social media by Shanann, the small family frolicked and played happily together. In photographs, the children smiled serenely back at the camera, hugged warmly by their mother. By all appearances, life in the Watts’ home was ideal, and there was little indication of troubles.
In 2015, when Bella was two and Celeste just an infant, the Watts family was forced to declare bankruptcy. The family struggled financially, prompting Shanann to take a job promoting Thrive, a popular weight-loss supplement. Shanann was a successful member of the pyramid marketing campaign, and friends estimated she was able to bring in an extra $65,000 to $70,000 annually through her work with Thrive. It was rumored that Shanann also earned valuable awards such as pricey vacations from the company.
But despite Shanann’s success as a wife and as a marketing consultant with Thrive, Chris Watts still wasn't satisfied. In 2018, he met Nichol Kessinger. The two grew friendly and eventually began an affair that July. Chris told Nichol that he was waiting for his divorce to become final, and the two made plans for a future together. It wasn’t until months later that Nichol would question the honesty and integrity of Christopher Watts.