Short Sands beating: Rhonda Pattelena Bedford Massachusetts woman beaten to death with rock during beach stroll by son’s father, Jeffrey Buchannan.
Wishing against reason. A Massachusetts man has been charged with fatally beating the mother of his young son, bashing her in the head with a rock during a stroll on a Maine beach, court records show.
Buchannan, the father of one of Pattelena’s three sons, told cops he didn’t remember the deadly assault, according to a court affidavit obtained by the Bangor Daily News.
Buchannan told police he saw a man running toward him while Pattelena made hand gestures behind his back as they were at the beach. Feeling threatened, Buchannan said he ‘blacked out’ and then remembered only walking away from the Bedford woman, according to the affidavit.
Firefighters found Pattelena dead on the beach, where she had ‘significant trauma’ to her face and head. Blood was also found on the sand beneath her head, the affidavit states.
Deadly assault caught on surveillance camera
Investigators also recovered a rock near her body that may have been used as the murder weapon, according to the affidavit. An autopsy determined Pattelena died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Buchannan allegedly killed Pattelena behind a large rock and the attack was caught on surveillance video investigators obtained from nearby businesses, the affidavit said.
The footage shows Buchannan initially hit Pattelena as her back was turned before he struck her several additional times, the court document shows.
Buchannan, who is being held without bail, is set to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Alfred, Maine.
Pattelena, who moved to Bedford months earlier, according to relatives and friends, loved going to the beach and considered those in York to be her favorite escape, the Boston Globe reported.
‘We used to go there every summer, every summer,’ Pattelena’s sister, Jessica Pattelena, told the Globe. ‘She was a mermaid. She loved the beach. She always had her toes in the sand. She loved the waves.’
Friday’s slaying came after Buchannan had recently reentered Pattelena’s life.
She wanted to believe he was her soulmate.’
‘She just really loved him,’ Pattelena’s friend, Melissa Matranga told the Globe. ‘She saw good in him when there really was no good in him. She just wanted to believe that he was her soulmate.’
Buchannan pleaded guilty in 2017 to assaulting and kidnapping Pattelena, along with her two sons from previous relationships, court records cited by the Globe show. He was sentenced to two years in prison after Pattelena told cops he attacked her and wouldn’t let her children leave her home in Lawrence.
An online fundraiser set up to offset Pattelena’s funeral costs surpassed $41,335 as of Tuesday. The single mother is survived by her three sons, Bobby, 17, Noah, 14, and 2-year-old Jaxson.
‘My best friend’s life was taken away due to domestic violence,’ Matranga wrote.
‘Her life was taken too soon and we are all still in shock.’