Zach Dawson Allegedly Kills His Wife, Marissa Dawson


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Kinsey Baldwin, Staff Writer

On November 24, Thanksgiving night, Zach Dawson (35), and Marissa Dawson (27), were spending the evening in their Alderson, West Virginia residence. The couple reportedly engaged in an argument that devolved into Dawson allegedly beating his wife into the early morning hours of November 25 so severely that she died. People magazine reports that the cause of death was “major facial trauma.” 

At approximately 9 a.m. a friend of Marissa’s came to the Dawson house after watching the Dawson children all night in her own home. The friend discovered the gruesome scene and called the police from a neighbor’s house. Once officials realized Marissa’s 2016 Infinity was missing, a search for the car began. Shortly after, Zach Dawson was found driving along U.S. Route 219 in Lewisburg.

During an interview with police, Zach admitted to “striking” his wife during an argument, killing her, changing her out of her bloody clothes, and attempting to clean the house. The criminal complaint reads, in part, that Dawson “admitted being responsible for her death and takes responsibility for it.” The same document also reads, “Subject stated that after striking his wife he blacked out and when he came to his senses “he knew that he had messed up.”

The Dawsons shared a child, Ashton, born in August, and were married on October 24, exactly one month prior to the alleged murder. Marrissa has five children, the oldest in 2nd grade. In honor of Marissa Dawson, there has been an account opened at The Bank of Monroe. Donations to the account may be mailed to the bank’s address or taken directly to the bank. 

On November 28, a candlelit vigil was held at the gazebo near the old bridge in Alderson. Those who attended were asked to wear purple to raise awareness of women like Marissa who have suffered domestic abuse. Prior to Marissa’s death, Zach had a previous record of three domestic battery charges. The first occurred in August 2016, followed by incidents in March and July of 2019. 

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 3 men in the United States experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 1 in 3 teens experience dating violence.

Domestic violence should always be taken seriously. If you or an acquaintance is dealing with domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. They are open 24/7 and have 200+ languages available.