American Bradley Dawson (39) is accused of murdering his wife Christe Chen while they were on their honeymoon in Fiji.
Bradley and Christe lived in Memphis, Tennessee and they were married on February 18 2022. Christe was currently working as a pharmacist for Kroger and Bradley worked as an IT specialist for Youth Villages, a “private, non-profit organisation dedicated to helping children with emotional and behavioural problems and their families live successfully”, according to the Memphis-based organisation.
I can’t find any social media for Bradley, but Christe has a private instagram and a public Facebook. There isn’t too much on there, it does say she is married and it has her name as Christe Dawson.
One acquaintance, who knew Christe professionally, told the Daily Beast, “It was some kind of whirlwind romance’. It seems like they planned their wedding in under a month.
“Thank you to all the amazing vendors who helped us put this gorgeous little ceremony in just 26 days,” their wedding planner wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post. “Thank you to Brad & Christe for trusting #BellaBaxterEvents with your special day.”
Christe’s friends have told the media that many of them never met Bradley before the wedding day.
This info about the wedding is from the Daily Beast:
At their wedding reception, guests dined on Caesar salad with parmesan croutons to start, followed by petite filet steak or sautéed shrimp in brown butter, according to video from the event obtained by The Daily Beast. There was wedding cake for dessert, and the happy couple seemed to be over the moon.
“Yesterday, Christe & Brad were given a gorgeous Spring day to celebrate their nuptials amongst their closest family and friends at the beautiful James Lee House,” the photographer they hired for the event posted on her Instagram page, which was taken down on Tuesday. “Christe and Brad’s joy radiated all over their faces and was so much fun to capture on camera.🤍”
The couple headed to Fiji in July 2022. They checked into the Turtle Island Resort on July 7 2022. The resort is very exclusive:
Experience pure indulgence, relaxation and romance at one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. This truly all-inclusive island is home to only 14 couples at a time. The breathtaking panoramas of the renowned Blue Lagoon and neighboring Yasawa and Fiji Islands can be seen from your spacious Fijian villa. Gentle winds carry the scent of tropical flowers through the resort and the warm, azure waters at our 12 private beaches beckon you to relax on your vacation. The cuisine, prepared with fresh seafood from local waters and fruits and vegetables grown on the island, is a culinary delight. The paradise of Turtle Island resort offers a cultural experience where you embrace as family our gentle, engaging, noble hosts.
Media reports say the couple were paying around $3.5k per night to stay at the resort.
The couple only had two days at the resort before it all went wrong. On July 9, their personal butler then went to their bungalow and found a ‘do not disturb sign’ on their door. They then failed to turn up to lunch, and at that point, their butler – who personally cleaned their bungalow – used a spare key to unlock the door.
The butler – known as a ‘House Papa’ – discovered Christe lying in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor around midday.
I have read that the butler originally started cleaning and tidying the rest of the bungalow before he saw some blood stains. And he then went to investigate further and found Christe, allegedly beaten to death.
Employees at the resort alerted police and they began searching for Bradley, who was nowhere to be found. He was eventually found the following day, July 10 at 3pm on Matacawalevu Island, about 1.2 miles across the water from Turtle Island. It is believed he got to that location via kayak.
Manoa Ratulele, 49, told DailyMail.com that Bradley told him that he used a kayak to paddle to the island between 2am and 3am on Saturday morning after having a fight with Chen.
‘But he landed on a secluded beach and I don’t know what he was doing after that,’ Ratulele said.
He told DailyMail.com that Bradley was bruised and bleeding from his palms and feet, injuries that may have been caused from falling onto nearby coral. Bradley also ‘appeared disturbed’ so Manoa offered him water and help.
‘At first he kept refusing food and water and insisted he was ok, but I insisted he had some water and after that he said – Please, I need to call the police,’ Manoa said, adding that Bradley was drunk.
‘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’.’
Bradley was taken into custody and he retained a lawyer, Iqbal Khan.
His lawyer said that Bradley was so distraught that he could not speak for days after his arrest.
‘Something surprising happened,’ Iqbal told DailyMail.com. ‘Bradley’s okay now but he was really distressed when it happened. Last week he was in a desperate condition but he’s picking up now. It is a horrendous thing to happen on your honeymoon.’
Iqbal has yet to see the full police case against the American or post-mortem results to reveal a cause of death, but he’s convinced the murder charge will be thrown out.
‘There is no way he can be convicted of murder. No way. Full stop,’ he said.
‘On the evidence that they have presented so far, there’s no proof of the charge of murder with intention to kill or premeditation. Nothing of that sort whatsoever.
‘On the face of it, it looks like an accident but I will be able to confirm that once I get the full disclosure next week and get in front of other witnesses.’
‘I’m in touch with his mother in America,’ said his lawyer Iqbal. ‘All his family and friends are devastated, because he was a nice quiet fellow. He’s never been involved with the law before and then this happened. This is something new.’
Police Prosecutor, Inspector Arvind Kumar sought the court’s order for Bradley to provide his DNA sample because when a request was made the accused refused to carry out forensic tests.