Young pharmacist from Memphis, 39, found dead in a hotel room in Fiji
A young pharmacist from Memphis, found dead in a hotel room during her honeymoon in Fiji, had been “thrilled to be married and having babies”, her friends have revealed.
Christe Chen Dawson, 39, was looking forward to spending the rest of her life with Bradley Robert Dawson, 38, before she was found dead in a hotel room on the Yasawa Islands on July 9.
It’s unclear what was the cause of his death, but local media said Bradley was “nowhere to be found” after his body was discovered. He has since been charged with murder and is being held in Fiji.
Her devastated friends told DailyMail.com they were shocked and Christe wasn’t thrilled with her wedding until February. They said the couple may have bonded over their love of running and charity work.
Christe Chen Dawson, 39, of Memphis, was looking forward to spending the rest of her life with Bradley Robert Dawson, 38. The couple married in February
A photo of the couple on vacation that the couple took before the wedding. Christe was described by friends as a “kind and generous person who made friends wherever she went”. Pictured: The couple on a previous vacation
Her friend Rena Schomburg said: “I am in shock. I just texted all my friends and my husband saying I hope this isn’t real, but my husband told me it’s real.
“She was so excited to get married and have babies.”
The couple in 2015 while planning a mutual friend’s bachelorette party.
She said Christe was a talented baker who had run a bakery in Colorado and would always give her sweet treats. The couple also shared a passion for the Chicago Cubs as they both hail from Windy City.
She added that Christe always wanted to go to pharmacy school and moved to Tennessee where she attended the University of Tennessee. Christe worked as a pharmacist at Memphis Kroger before her death.
Chen was a talented baker who had run a successful bakery in Colorado. She then moved to Memphis where she studied to become a pharmacist
Christe shows off her fun side as she poses while dressed in a cow costume with her udders hanging out
Christe was described by a friend as “super-sweet, kind, would do anything for anyone, outgoing, generous and so much fun”. “She was so excited to get married and have babies”
Bradley is seen behind a wire mesh fence in Fiji where he is being held for the murder of Christe
Schomburg (left) and Christe (right) spend time together in Colorado
“It’s so sad,” she said, remembering how full of life her friend was.
An only child, Schomburg said Christe travels with her mother on extravagant trips and posts them on her social media.
She described her friend as “super sweet, kind, would do anything for anyone, outgoing, generous and so much fun”.
Schomburg said she had never met Bradley, but suggested that Christe might have met him during a marathon.
“She didn’t have bad bones in her body,” Schomburg said.
Matt Koenig, a friend of Christe’s was shocked upon hearing the news of his friend’s death.
“Christe was caring, funny, giving, the kind of person who can befriend anyone,” he said. He added: “It’s a tough day.”
The couple shared a new home on Elzey Avenue in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis
Dawson worked as an IT professional for Youth Villages, a non-profit organization that helps children. The nonprofit said Dawson has been suspended pending further information. “We understand that Ms. Chen was his wife and our condolences go out to her family,” Youth Villages said in a statement to FOX13.
Prior to the alleged murder, Christe eerily told a neighbor how excited she was to spend her honeymoon in paradise.
Christe’s body was later found in a hotel room at the resort where the couple was staying, the outlet reported.
It is not known at which resort the murder took place, but according to reports, it was on the Yasawa Islands or on Mamanucas Island.
Dawson was “nowhere to be found” on the remote island, known for its pristine beaches, crystal blue-green waters, palm trees, lush vegetation and a secluded setting, until the police caught up with him and was taken into custody.
He refused to submit his DNA for forensic testing when requested by the police prosecutor.
A court order was then sought before the magistrate, Sekonaia Vodokisolomone, of the Lautoka Magistrate’s Court, Fiji Sun reported.
In the meantime, a team has been sent to the island to investigate the alleged murder, FBC News reported.
On Monday, Dawson appeared before Magistrate Sekonaia Vodokisolomone at Lautoka Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate Vodokisolomone told the court that Dawson had committed a criminal act and the case would be transferred to the High Court in Lautoka, Fiji Sun reported.
The magistrate said Dawson’s bail application should go to the High Court.
Police prosecutor Inspector Arvind Kumar asked the court to order Dawson to provide his DNA sample because he refused when Kumar initially requested one.
Vodokisolomone said the application should be made in the High Court.
Another photo of the couple looking perfectly happy before the newlywed was found dead in a hotel during their honeymoon in scenic Fiji. Bradley claimed his innocence
Before Dawson was arrested, he was believed to have been on the run on the remote island, known for its pristine beaches, crystal blue-green waters, palm trees, lush vegetation and secluded setting (pictured)
A panoramic view of the Fiji Islands where the couple went to spend their honeymoon
When DailyMail.com contacted Dawson’s lawyer, Iqbal Khan said he was unavailable.
Khan told FOX13 Memphis he was unable to confirm Christe’s death, but said his client maintains his innocence.
He said he was working to get bail for his client who is due back in court on July 27, the outlet reported.
Christe worked as a pharmacist at Kroger. Her husband worked as a computer scientist for Youth Villages, a non-profit organization that helps children.
The nonprofit said Dawson has been suspended pending further information.
“We understand that Ms. Chen was his wife and our condolences go out to her family,” Youth Villages said in a statement to FOX13.
The couple shared a new home on Elzey Avenue in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis.