The body of Christe Chen, a newlywed from Tennessee who was found dead in her bungalow bathroom during her honeymoon, suffered injuries so severe that she had to be cremated in Fiji.
Chen’s family attorney, Ronald Gordon, said Daily mail that her family is considering bringing a civil action against her husband Bradley Robert Dawson, 38, in the event that he is not found criminally responsible for the death of Chen, 36.
Gordon also noted that Chen’s remains were to be cremated in Fiji due to her severe injuries, confirming that she suffered significant blows to her body.
“The family will follow the process to ensure justice is served for Christe given the horrific injuries she suffered,” Gordon said. “The deceased could not be taken home due to the nature of her injuries…so she had to be cremated here in Fiji and her ashes brought back.”
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A post-mortem examination report also revealed that she suffered multiple traumatic injuries to the body and blunt force trauma to the head.
Chen’s parents arrived in Fiji on July 13.
“She is the only child of her parents and obviously they are quite devastated and they want to make sure that justice is done for her in the end,” Gordon said.
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Chen was found beaten to death inside the bathroom of the couple’s luxurious $3,500-a-night bungalow at Turtle Island Resort, a private island retreat in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands, on July 9. killed and that the Fijian police declined to comment on the case.
After Chen and Dawson failed to show up for breakfast and lunch, their butler checked their room and found Chen’s bleeding body. Dawson was nowhere to be found after the 50-year-old butler alerted management and then called Fiji Police.
Dawson was finally located on July 10 around 3 p.m. on Matacawalevu Island, about 2 km across the water from the resort. The man told a 49-year-old resident that he left the resort between 2 and 3 a.m. Saturday and paddled a kayak to the island after his argument with Chen.
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“He landed on a secluded beach, and I don’t know what he did after that,” local Manoa Ratulele told the Daily Mail, adding that Dawson “seemed upset” so he offered her some l water and help.
“At first he kept refusing food and water and insisted he was fine, but I insisted he have water, and after that he said “Please, I have to call the police”. drunk at the time.
“He didn’t tell us he killed his wife, but I could still smell the alcohol on him. He kept repeating that “we had a fight” and offered no beginning or end to this story, he kept saying “we had a fight”, Ratulele said.
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Dawson allegedly left his GPS watch and phone at the resort and only had his passport and wallet with him when he was found, according to Gordon.
Fijian police took Dawson to Turtle Island Resort and later to Lautoka on Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. He was charged with murder and was originally due to appear in the High Court on July 27 before the date was pushed back to August 18.
Dawson and Chen tied the knot in February, three months after they met. Chen was Dawson’s second wife.
In a statement following the incident, Turtle Island Resort confirmed Chen’s murder at the resort and said they “have fully cooperated with police who have conducted a thorough investigation and have now left the island.” .
“Out of respect for those affected and given that this is an open legal matter, we cannot provide further comment at this time. We are deeply saddened by this event and send our deepest condolences to Ms. Chen’s family and friends,” the statement said.
Featured image via Christe Chen