HONEYMOON KILLER Bradley Dawson confessed to killing Christe Chen, only to later claim she was ALIVE when he left
Christe Chen's body was found so brutally injured after being murdered by Dawson that it could not be embalmed and had to be cremated
LAUTOKA, FIJI: Bradley Dawson, who was accused of murdering his 36-year-old pharmacist wife Christe Chen in their luxury bungalow on a private Fiji island, recently confessed to police, only to later claim Chen was alive when he left her after a drunken fight. Chen was beaten to death by Dawson, 38, during their honeymoon. Her body was found so brutally injured that it could not be embalmed. It had to be cremated before her parents could take her home to the US.
Chen was found dead on July 9, 2022, in the bathroom of the secluded Turtle Island Resort. She and her husband had checked into that hotel two days earlier. The two had tied the knot in February, three months after they met. While Chen worked as a pharmacist at Kroger, Dawson worked as an IT professional for Youth Villages, a non-profit that helps children.
Dawson appeared at the Lautoka High Court in Fiji on Wednesday evening, August 17. His bail hearing was delayed for a second time until September 1. He has yet to enter a plea. The state has not yet disclosed its evidence against Dawson and informed Justice Riyaz Hamza that 14 more days would be needed to file the post-mortem examination report and crime scene photographs.
The medical examiner ruled Chen's death a murder. It was found that she died from a traumatic brain injury caused by a brain bleed, severe traumatic head injuries, and multiple traumatic injuries to her body. Her cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
The Daily Mail obtained disclosure documents that said during a police interview, Dawson initially "confessed to the offense". However, he later remained "silent after seeking legal advice". He now maintains that Chen's death was an accident and that she was alive when he left her at the bungalow. A lawyer representing Chen's estate and her parents, Ronald Gordon, told the Daily Mail that they will take civil action against Dawson if he is not held criminally liable for her death. They could also take legal action against Turtle Island Resort and will oppose any bail application.
Dawson had told a local man that he had an argument with his wife and left Turtle Island in the night. He had left his GPS watch and phone at the hotel. An alarm was reportedly raised on the day Chen was murdered when neither she nor Dawson turned up for breakfast. Their personal butler turned up at their bungalow and found a "do not disturb" sign on the door. However, when they failed to come for lunch, the butler, known as a 'House Papa', unlocked the door with a spare key. He entered and found Chen's bloodied body inside the washroom. He alerted hotel management, who subsequently called the Fiji Police Force in the nearby city of Lautoka. Dawson was later nabbed by a team of three police officers on Matacawalevu Island, about 1.2 miles across the water from Turtle Island. He was taken to Lautoka on Fiji's main island Viti Levu and charged with murder.
A local man who met Dawson after he fled to Matacawalevu Island said he was bleeding from his palms and feet. "At first he kept refusing food and water and insisted he was okay, but I insisted he had some water and after that he said - Please, I need to call the police," the man, Manoa Ratulele, 49, said. "He didn't tell us he had killed his wife but I could still smell alcohol on him. He continued to repeat that 'we had a fight' and offered no start or end to that story, just kept saying 'we had a fight'."
Turtle Island Resort said in a statement, "We can confirm that an incident took place between a couple at the Island on July 9th, which has resulted in a tragic outcome and charges being laid. We cooperated fully with the police who conducted a thorough investigation and have now left the Island. Out of respect for those impacted and given it is an open legal matter, we cannot provide any further comment at this time. We are deeply saddened by the event and send our sincerest condolences to Ms Chen's family and friends."