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U.S. Marine Accused Of Stabbing Pregnant Ex-Wife To Death On Hawaii Highway

Active servicemember Bryant Tejada-Castillo alleged stabbed his pregnant ex-wife, Dana Alotaibi, to death on the side of a highway in Hawaii.

By Jax Miller
A personal photo of Dana Alotaibi

A U.S. Marine is under arrest after police say he brutally stabbed his pregnant ex-wife to death on a busy highway.

On Wednesday, good Samaritans tried to stop a man who was reportedly seen beating and stabbing a woman multiple times along a Honolulu freeway, police said in a press conference on Thursday.  The suspect and victim were later identified as U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Bryant Tejada-Castillo, 29, and his estranged wife Dana Alotaibi, 27.

Witnesses saw the pair in a physical altercation on the westbound side of the H-3 Freeway near the Kamehameha off-ramp on Wednesday at around 6:18 p.m.. One witness told Hawaii News Now that he hadn’t realized Alotaibi was stabbed until after he and another man tackled the suspect.

“I ran there and told him to let her go,” the witness stated. “I just seen blood all over her; she was full of blood.”

Honolulu Police confirmed passersby tried to render first aid to the victim.

“You know, obviously when we’re doing CPR, there’s no pulse, they didn’t get a pulse the whole time, and it was just her face; she just looked past the point of no return,” a witness told ABC Honolulu affiliate KITV. “Could you imagine being stabbed in the neck and then watching as your life just literally leaks out of you, and everyone around you doesn’t know what to do or is too shocked to do anything about it? I couldn’t imagine that."

Tejada-Castillo reportedly fled the scene and into some nearby brush before using the alleged murder weapon to cause self-inflicted injuries.

One witness told Hawaii News Now that he watched the suspect stab himself twice in the neck.

Tejada-Castillo was apprehended a short time later and transported to a medical center to receive treatment for his wounds. Alotaibi was also transferred to an area hospital but officially succumbed to her injuries about two hours after the attack.

Lt. Deena Thoemmes of the Honolulu Police Department confirmed the suspect and victim were formerly married and had “marital problems,” noting the department planned to investigate both documented and undocumented domestic violence between the pair. Thoemmes also referenced social media posts in which the victim reportedly detailed several instances of alleged past violence.

Although a postmortem examination is pending, several loved ones claimed Alotaibi was three months pregnant, as reported in multiple news outlets — including Hawaii News Now and the Associated Press. Sources said the father of the unborn child was a new boyfriend, with whom Alotaibi planned to move to the mainland.

“She was very excited about this,” a source told the Hawaii outlet. “And I was excited for her.”

Alotaibi and Tejada-Castillo had been married for three years, according to ABC Honolulu affiliate KITV. Court records obtained by the outlet showed that Tejada-Castillo filed for divorce in November, an uncontested move that became official in June.

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed with the Hawaii outlet that Castillo was on active duty and assigned to the 3rd Littoral Combat Team in Kaneohe.

A spokesperson for the Marine Corps Base Hawaii made a statement regarding Alotaibi’s murder, according to KITV, calling it a “tragic incident.”

“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 statement read, in part. “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.”

Alotaibi’s mother, Natalia Cespedes, said her daughter had been able to obtain the military’s version of a restraining order. However, she claimed the military should have done more to help the Alotaibi and hadn’t “probably because she’s [a] woman,” and that they possibly saw her as “crazy,” according to Hawaii News Now.

“I feel like nobody wants to help, nobody wants to say nothing,” Cespedes told the outlet. “Probably if I go there, they will help.”

Cespedes told Hawaii News Now that she had planned to visit Hawaii on Saturday to bring her daughter back to Virginia.

In a separate statement sent to Law & Crime, the Marine Corps said they were aware of previous claims of intimate partner violence and had taken measures to remedy the problem.

“There were multiple instances where the Military Police at MCBH and the Honolulu Police Department responded to domestic disputes both on MCBH and off-base,” they wrote. “Immediately following these reported instances, the command referred the Marine and his spouse to the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) for counseling and support. The command also issued no-contact orders prohibiting Sgt. [Tejada-Castillo] from contacting Ms. Alotaibi in any manner outside of supervised FAP services.

“The Marine’s command remained engaged with both the subject and the victim, responding to all reported allegations from Ms. Alotaibi,” they continued. “In addition to prohibiting Sgt. [Tejada-Castillo] from contacting his estranged wife, the command also disciplined the Marine in March 2022 for violating those orders and for communicating a non-violent threat to Ms. Alotaibi.”

Friends of Alotaibi said the military should be responsible for helping members get the mental health they need.

“I don’t think they care about family at all because if they did, then they will be getting their soldiers the help that they need,” one friend told News Now. “It seemed like he was crying out for help, too.”

Castillo is being held on $1 million bail. Oxygen.com reached out to Honolulu authorities to see if Castillo has been released from the hospital and whether or not charges had been officially filed but did not receive an immediate response. According to the Associated Press, he faces charges of second-degree murder.