The Tennessee bride whose husband has been charged with murdering her on their honeymoon in Fiji was so badly beaten, her family was unable to bring her body home to the US, their lawyer has revealed.
Memphis-based pharmacist Christe Chen, 36, was “unable to be taken back to her home because of the nature of her injuries,” her parents’ attorney, Ronald Gordon, told DailyMail.com.
“So she had to be cremated here in Fiji and her ashes were taken back,” he said of the new bride who was found dead in her room in the $3,500-a-night Turtle Island Resort earlier this month.
“She is the only child of her parents, and obviously they are quite devastated and they want to ensure that justice … is given to her,” he said.
The attorney spoke out as Chen’s new husband, Bradley Robert Dawson, 38, appeared in Lautoka High Court late Tuesday.
Dawson — who claims his bride’s death was an “accident,” according to his attorney — was pictured arriving with a small blue suitcase in anticipation of being released on bail, the Mail said.
Instead, he was held for at least another three weeks until August 21, the Fiji Times noted.
Chen’s family plans to take civil action against Dawson if he is not held criminally liable for the death, and have not ruled out legal action against the exclusive resort, their lawyer told the Mail.
“The family will follow the proceedings to ensure justice is served for Christe given the horrific injuries she endured,” Gordon told the outlet.
Chen’s death appeared to have followed an argument between the honeymooners, the attorney said.
It came as such a shock to her parents, “they thought it was a prank call” when someone from the State Department broke the harrowing news to them, he said.
The attorney also revealed that Dawson is known to have been to the same resort at least once before — but with a previous wife.
The newlywed had been found by a butler in a pool of blood, dead from multiple traumatic injuries, including blunt force trauma to the head, according to a post-mortem report viewed by the Mail.
Despite the gruesome injuries, Dawson’s attorney, Iqbal Khan, insisted the death “looks like an accident.”
“There is no way he can be convicted of murder,” Khan previously insisted to the Mail.
“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,” he insisted.