Christopher Dailey had a reputation for being everyone’s best friend.
That’s how many of his friends and family remember him, said Summer McGeorge, who met 38-year-old Dailey through a mutual friend about 10 years ago.
“That’s how he was,” she said a few days after her friend’s vigil. “He just had the biggest heart. … He could have the worst luck on the worst day, but he was always smiling. He was really content with everything he had.”
Dailey was killed Dec. 30 near Woodland Park, after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police said it was the last homicide investigation in Seattle opened in 2020.
Seattle police officers found him in the 5000 block of Aurora Avenue North around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, after a passing driver spotted his body in the road and called 911, police said in a statement at the time.
Detectives, who are investigating the shooting as a homicide, didn’t have any new updates as of Tuesday, Seattle police spokesperson Officer Valerie Carson said. No arrests have been made.
Dailey was born in Toledo, Ohio, and moved to Bothell with his mother, sister and brother when he was a child, said Brittani Foster, who used to date Dailey. The two have a 9-year-old son, Payton, together. Dailey also has a 15-year-old son, Jordan, and a 3-year-old daughter, Paitience.
“I was totally infatuated with him,” said Foster, who met Dailey in 2010 and now lives on Camano Island. “We were kind of a rocky relationship, not always together. Our relationship really grew after we weren’t together anymore. But if things went different in our lives, we would’ve been together forever.”
Because Dailey had been arrested before and moved in and out of the state Department of Corrections (DOC) system, “it made it hard for us to be with each other and have it be easy,” she said.
“I had a kid to take care of, and he couldn’t settle down to do that,” Foster said.
According to DOC records, Dailey had run-ins with law enforcement beginning when he was 14 and had been jailed on charges of forgery, third-degree assault and burglary, among other offenses.
But Dailey and Foster stayed close as the years passed — and Dailey always made an effort to spend time with Payton, whom he used to call “my Pay,” and his other children, Foster said.
Dailey was known for his contagious laugh and infectious enthusiasm, she said.
“His excitement about the silliest things was the best part about him,” she said, remembering times when he would light up while the two spent a day shopping for cleaning supplies or going to the auto-repair shop. He was an avid Seahawks fan and fiercely loyal to the city of Bothell — so much so that he had 425, the area code, tattooed on his leg.
“It was almost like he was a kid in a way,” McGeorge said. “Everything excited him. Like a kid on Christmas morning.”
He also loved listening to music, a detail evident from the Beats headphones he’d always wear around his neck.
“Anything from Justin Bieber to Kevin Gates,” Foster said. “Anything that had a good beat and good rhythm that he could move to.”
And he was a talented artist, gravitating toward drawings. Foster said she’s still stunned by a detailed drawing he once did of a gorilla.
“I can’t wrap my head around it still,” Foster said. “I can’t see a world without him.”
Dailey, whose mobile home in Kenmore caught fire last year, moved into a tent on Aurora Avenue North to be with his most recent girlfriend when she became pregnant with his fourth child, Foster said.
“It’s not fair that his kids have to be without him just because some people don’t want to come forward and talk to the cops,” she said. “It just disgusts me. … It’s the most unbelievable, biggest loss I’ve ever experienced. And it’s going to be so hard for me to move on.”
Friends and family are planning a private funeral for Dailey later this month, and created a GoFundMe to raise funds for the service.
Anyone with information about Dailey’s death is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department’s tip line at 206-233-5000.
News researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.