Fayetteville family bonded with Colorado mom, daughters days before deaths

Cumberland County News

A Fayetteville mom says photos taken on a family vacation are chilling after discovering Shanann Watts and her daughters are in the background.

Watts, 3-year-old Celeste, and 4-year-old Bella were murdered in Colorado last week. Shanann Watts’ husband, Chris Watts, has been charged in their deaths.

“Chills. Heartache,” Michele Greer said.

Greer, her husband, and three young boys were on vacation in Myrtle Beach earlier this month. Greer said that, while waiting in line for a bungee trampoline, she struck up a conversation with the family in front of them.

“We just started talking about our kids,” said Greer.

The other family was Watts, her daughters, and her husband.

Greer said she and Shanann Watts talked for about 10 minutes, making the connection that they both had ties to North Carolina. Shanann Watts was from Aberdeen and her husband is from Spring Lake.

“Small world. That’s exactly what I was thought,” Greer said.

While standing in line, Greer said Watts excitedly shared the news she was expecting, and hoping for a baby boy.

“She said, ‘This pregnancy is just like my first two pregnancies. It’s probably another girl.’ I said ‘No, maybe not,'” Greer said.

Soon, it was time for Greer’s boys and Watts’ girls to jump on the trampolines, so the moms parted ways.

“The last thing I told her was, ‘Good luck to you.’ That was it,” Greer said.

Eleven days later, back at home in Fayetteville, Greer said she saw on the news that the happy mom, and her adorable girls from the beach were dead, and Chris Watts was the prime suspect.

“As soon as my husband got home I said, ‘I think this is the couple we met at Myrtle Beach.’ He said, ‘No, I’m 100 percent positive this is the family,'” Greer said.

She grabbed her phone, scrolled through it and her heart dropped. In the background of photos of her own children was Watts taking photos of her girls.

“The way they just smiled at her. The way she was filming them. She was smiling at them. She loved those girls, and those girls loved her,” Greer said.

Greer said Chris Watts didn’t speak to her family at all that day. She doesn’t believe his claim. According to Colorado court documents, Shanann Watts killed Bella and Celeste. 

Chris Watts, 33, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of murdering a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, according to CBS News.

“I’m sickened that a parent, a father, could do that to his children, and to his wife,” Greer said.

Greer added that she is praying for Watts’ entire family. She said that looking back at the photos is a stark reminder.

“Live your life to the fullest. Just love your kids. Hug them. Tell them you love them,” Greer said.

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