Massachusetts man accuse of bashing woman’s head, killing her on scenic Maine beach

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Mar. 29 2021, Updated 8:45 a.m. ET

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A man is accused of bashing a woman’s head in and now police in Maine have charged him with the victim’s murder. 

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The York Police Department received multiple 911 calls for a man assaulting a female behind a large rock on the beach at 3:54 p.m. on March 26.

Police patrolmen identified Jeffrey Buchannan, 33, of Bedford, Massachusetts as the suspect in the assault upon arrival on Short Sands Beach. Police detained Buchannan and brought him to the department. 

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The woman was located behind a rock, and was later pronounced dead on the scene from an apparent bludgeoning. The victim was identified as Rhonda Pattelena, 35, of Bedford, Massachusetts.

The two were domestic partners and had one mutual child.

The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit was called to assist York police with the investigation.

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Buchannan is said to have assaulted Pattelena “in a horrific public outburst of violence reported by multiple 911 calls from witnesses,” according to

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An autopsy completed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined Pattelena's death was a homicide caused by blunt force injury to the head, according to the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit.

Maine State Police Detectives charged Jeffrey Buchannan with murder and he was taken to the York County Jail at 9 p.m. Authorities said they are confident that there is no on-going risk to public safety.  

The York Police Department and Eliot Police Department assisted in the investigation. An investigative team of Maine State Police detectives and crime scene technicians from the Maine State Police Evidence Response Team remained at the scene, and were expected to continue the investigation throughout the weekend.


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