Authorities have charged a U.S. Marine on active duty with second-degree murder in a ghastly incident that allegedly occurred on a highway in Hawaii.
“Bryant Tejada Castillo, 29, is accused of stabbing Dana Alotaibi, 27, on the H-3 Freeway on Wednesday night. Police said Castillo also stabbed himself before officers caught him hiding in the nearby brush. Alotaibi died at the hospital. Castillo was also taken to the hospital for his injuries,” ABC Honolulu affiliate KITV4 reported.
Citing the Honolulu Police Department as its source, Hawaii News further reported that “after an argument between the couple, the suspect pulled over, got out of the car, and started stabbing the woman.”
The victim was reportedly about three months pregnant. Married for about three years, the estranged couple reportedly divorced on an uncontested basis in June. Tejada-Castillo had filed for divorce in November 2021.
The suspect, who is being held subject to $1 million bail, is stationed at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay and reportedly assigned to the Marines’ 3rd Littoral Combat Team.
Separately according to Hawaii News, Alotaibi “posted several videos and messages on her social media accounts talking about her abusive relationship, claiming her husband hit her, pulled her hair, choked her, cheated on her and threatened to kill her.”
This content includes a 20-plus-minute YouTube video in which the woman claimed that she reported his misbehavior to Marine higher-ups, but nothing was ever done. That video can be seen here:
Alotaibi’s heartbroken mother Natalia Cespedes implied that the Marine Corps did not respond meaningfully to her daughter’s plight.
“Had military officials acted on repeated requests for help, she believes her daughter would still be alive…She said Alotaibi was able to get a no contact order on her husband, the military’s version of a restraining order. But Cespedes says she’s disappointed more wasn’t done to protect her,” Hawaii News added.
Alotaibi was planning to move back to her home state of Virginia to raise the child. The father is reportedly her current boyfriend. A GoFundMe page has been established for funeral-related expenses.
According to the Honolulu police department, witnesses spotted the suspect in this tragic circumstance stabbing the victim “multiple times” at about 6 p.m. local time. “Witnesses tried to restrain the male and render aid to the victim,” police added.
The investigation by Honolulu detectives is ongoing.
In a statement to KITV4 the day after the arrest, Marine Corps Base Hawaii asserted, in part, that “Our understanding is that the Marine is currently in the custody of the Honolulu Police Department as their investigation continues, but has not been formally charged. The 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment and Marine Corps Base Hawaii will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials as the details surrounding this incident unfold. The Marine Corps extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those involved.”
In a separate statement published by Hawaii News, the Marines explained that “We can confirm that the Marine suspect’s command was engaged with both him and the victim, and were responsive to those allegations and concerns that the command was made aware of. Due to the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further on this topic.”
Watch a report aired by KHON-TV embedded below:
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
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