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The Connection between a Moore County Couple whose 4-year-old shot himself and Shan’ann Watts [UPDATED]

On July 9th, 2018, about a month before the Watts Family Murders, and the very same day “nutgate” happened, a Moore County couple were charged with neglect after their 4-year-old found a gun in his mother’s purse and shot himself.

It appears the shooting happened on Saturday, July 7th at 19:00, but was reported in the media two days later on Monday, July 9th.

According to

The shooting occurred Saturday evening in a room of the Oceans One Resort [in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina]. Isaiah Odom was playing by himself in his parents’ suite when they heard a gunshot from the next room, police said.

Isaiah remained in critical condition Monday at Grand Strand Hospital. Parents Heather Lyn Odom and Jeremy Jermaine Barrett, who are from Aberdeen, have been charged with unlawful neglect of a child, and they pleaded with a judge Monday to let them out of jail so they could be with their son.

“I just wanted to say that this was just a tragic accident, and it’s something that shouldn’t have happened, but it did,” Odom told Municipal Judge Clifford Welsh. Family members of both parents spoke in court on their behalf.

“They take care of themselves. They don’t ask anybody for anything. They rely on themselves. They’re good people,” said Odom’s mother, Robynn Remers-Odom.

Welsh got choked up as he granted their request to be released.

There appears to be a link between Shan’ann Watts, Sandi Rzucek, Frank Rzucek and Robynn Remers, though at this stage it’s difficult to establish whether they are family, friends or coworkers.

What this potentially shows is that the idea of child-neglect and mortal danger to a child may have been high on Shan’ann’s radar, and remained high because of the local news brewing at the time.

It’s likely folks in the small town of Aberdeen were thinking and talking about it constantly, and probably the Rzuceks in particular [since they knew the victim’s family] and Shan’ann keyed into this. This may have prolonged and aggravated Shan’ann’s response to the original incident and the reason why she reacted to it as an ongoing emergency.

During their trip to Myrtle Beach during the first week of August, local coverage and gossip of the incident may have hung like a cloud over the resort, and may have re-triggered a preoccupation and arguably ongoing overreaction from Shan’ann.

In hindsight it could be argued Shan’ann’s instincts were right, that she was right to be worried about the safety of her family. On the other hand one could speculate that if her concern was extreme or seen to be excessive to certain other people in the equation, it may have fed into a pernicious psychology swilling at the time, or even precipitated it.

Couple arrested after their four-year-old son accidentally shot himself between the eyes could face ten years in jail – Daily Mail


  1. mitzi2006

    What an odd coincidence. Can imagine after her having the incident happen at Watts parents and then this accident happening right after would likely be playing on her mind. Would be interesting to know exactly how closely the rzucek family and odom family are connected. You keep finding things in this case that keep a person wondering what you’ll find next. Is it any wonder we are all still glued to this blog and the facts it’s finding

  2. Ralph Oscar

    I’m intrigued by CW’s response: “I will call him and tell him what I think about this. It’s not fucking cool at all because it is the kids. I will set this right.”

    That was an appropriate, supportive response to SW – he clearly believed her account and took her and her reaction seriously.

    Now what if, when he spoke to his dad, he heard a *different* version, one that was not nearly so extreme and obviously wicked? There are so many versions of what went down with “nutgate” that it’s very confusing. For example, look at this account that I found online (which doesn’t even mention the other grandchildren that were there):
    Shanann and her daughters had reportedly visited her mother-in-law, Cindy Watts, with her daughters while she was in North Carolina but before Chris joined his family for the final week of the trip. The discovery documents note that Celeste Watts had a severe allergy to tree nuts, and Bella also appears to have had an allergy. Celeste’s allergy appears to have been well known to all extended family members, who were advised not to give or expose the girls to nuts. But during this visit, Shanann Watts reportedly went into the kitchen at her mother-in-law’s home to find Cindy Watts giving the girls ice cream with nuts in it.

    According to the account described in her friend’s letter,”Shanann asked her mother-in-law if the ice cream had nuts in it, and her mother-in-law responded, ‘Yes, just a little.’”

    After Shanann told her girls that they couldn’t have the ice cream, Cindy Watts continued to try and give the girls the bowls, and reportedly said to them: “Oh, your mommy doesn’t know what she is talking about, this ice cream couldn’t hurt you,” the letter states.

    Shanann reportedly told her friend that she reiterated her concern in a follow-up conversation with Cindy Watts, who dismissed her and said she was being over protective. Shanann then said she went back into another room to join other family members and the girls, and returned to the kitchen soon after when Bella asked for a drink. When she re-entered the kitchen, Shanann said she saw Chris’s sister placing a bowl of nuts on the kitchen table, in reach of the girls.

    When Shannan asked her sister-in-law why she would do that, she reportedly said, “We always have nuts out on the kitchen table.”

    Shanann told her friend she then left the home, after reminding her in-laws about Celeste’s upcoming birthday party. The grandparents reportedly did not come to the party, and the family was still in conflict over the incident at the time of the murders.

    According to her friend, Shanann said that Cindy Watts had never liked her and regularly undermined her. The discovery documents note multiple times that Chris’s parents did not attend his wedding to Shanann.
    That sounds pretty damning, but there are other accounts floating around from various sources. What did CW’s dad tell CW happened? CW would believe him as well. How would he reconcile conflicting accounts, especially since SW was continuing to freak out about it and make a huge scene? Did CW already consider that SW had drama-queen tendencies? Did CW think that SW was making too big a deal out of it to manipulate him? Remember his comment “You put a dagger between me and my father”? As Nick summarized, “It was the straw, in Chris Watts’ mind, that broke the camel’s back. It was a HUGE betrayal to him.” Was SW upping the ante, describing the incident in ever-more inflammatory terms, leaving CW no way to remain in contact with his family? Making him choose between them and her (and thus their children)? Did SW draw a line?

    • Gina

      The straw that broke the camels back is best described what happened with Shanann and Cindy with nutgate. Shanann had finally had it. From day one Cindy and Jamie have treated Shanann poorly. At cookouts Cindy and Jamie were quiet and distant making them feel not excepted. The engagement party Jamie asked SW if she could help with invitations and food and SW agreed thinking they were finally excepting her. Cindy and Jamie cross contaminated (gluten) the food they prepped so SW could not eat any of it.(Luckily Sandie had made some gluten free food so she got to eat ) SW had sent out 80 invites and only immediate family came. SW called people the next day and learned no invitations were received. Then SW went over what Celeste was allergic to with Cindy before her trip to NC. Cindy commented that they never buy pistachios. Then the nut incident happens and that was the straw.

  3. Sylvester

    There was another instance when Chris supported his wife – when his parents came to town and they were walking downtown. He stayed by her and was encouraging in his comments, while his parents seemed distant and intentionally disconnected to Sha’nann. But – you don’t pressure your spouse to get him to choose, between his parents and you and the kids. Frankly, if someone doesn’t like me and I can feel it, I don’t give them much energy. There are people like that in the world – where it’s an instant dislike and there’s nothing you can do about it. It could be that Sha’nann was just looking for something in the ongoing feud with her mother-in-law. Yes, the nuts were real, but blowing up and ranting for days about it just shows how over the top obsessive she was, or her need to be liked and supported by everyone. An immature view of life.

    • Ralph Oscar

      Yes, and I suspect that, given that CW had been distancing himself from her and she’d been noticing that, she seized upon Nutgate as her lifesaver – *that* was how she was going to reel CW back in and firmly lock him to her side. By choosing her over his family, he’d “prove” his love and devotion to her, and then things would be back the way she needed them to be.

      That backfired, as ultimatums so often do.

      • JC

        I also wonder if she suspected it to be his mother that was influencing him enough for him to be noticeably withdrawn and distant so suddenly. She thought it was a tug of war with Chris’ mother when in fact it was yet another woman. She was fighting the wrong battle. It took her quite awhile before she considered the possibility he was having an affair.

  4. Sylvester

    That’s an interesting insight Ralph. Using various illnesses and crises to stay connected to someone. Or gain attention.

  5. julinka1981

    What an interesting find Nick. Unfortunately timing is everything in this case. It would have been much better if investigators asked CW if there were similar serious incidents in family in past and drifts -of course we know few but we actually do not know who or what caused them. As much as SW was over protective and over the top, probably many situations over the past few years from his parents must have contributed to feeling dismissed, undermined,disrespected and of course her own OCD behavior . She obviously didn’t want to cut his parents completely ,otherwise they wouldn’t reconcile after the wedding. She was a decent human being. I know from own experience having unstable mother who caused huge problems with my husband,ex partner -I always felt similar to CW- I knew it’s not right to keep in touch with her but she is my mother so I persevere in keeping “okish” relations and keep both sides happy.

  6. Peko

    Robynn Remers-Odom is Sandy Rzucek’s sister ‘Robin Odom’ (

    In the true Onorati tradition, there’s also Robynn Marie Reimers (not “Remers”) in Aberdeen on whitepages. I think it’s the same person.

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