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Alderson man charged in beating death of wife

A Greenbrier County man is in custody charged in the beating death of his wife.

According to a criminal complaint, Zach Dawson, 34, of Alderson, admitted to killing Marissa Dawson during a violent argument that extended over several hours from Thanksgiving night to early Friday morning. Marissa Dawson’s bloodied body was found by a friend at 9 a.m. Friday at a residence in Alderson.

Police said Marissa Dawson suffered major facial trauma. There was blood found throughout the residence on both the second floor and in the basement, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators said it also appeared Marissa’s body was “thrown through the residence and striking what appeared to be her head on several items in the residence.”

Police allege after Zach Dawson changed his wife’s clothes and attempted to clean-up the residence, he took off in her car. Police found him later Friday along U.S. 219 in Lewisburg.

A candlelight vigil was set for Monday night.

According to the criminal complaint, Dawson “admitted being responsible for her death and takes responsibility for it.” Dawson told police he hit his wife during an argument.

“Zachary Hess Dawson informed the officer he killed his wife,” the criminal complaint said. “Subject stated that after striking his wife he blacked out and when he came to he knew he had messed up. Subject admitted that he changed her clothes to have clean clothes on her.”

Dawson is in the Southern Regional Jail without bail.

According to Facebook posts, Marissa Dawson was the mother of five children, including a son who was born in August. A separate Facebook post said she and Zach Dawson were married in late October of this year.