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Medical examiner: Massachusetts woman died from blunt force trauma to the head

Police found the body of Rhonda Pattelena of Bedford, Massachusetts, on a York beach Friday. Her domestic partner, Jeffrey Buchannan, is charged with murder.

YORK, Maine — An autopsy Saturday by the office of the chief medical examiner determined that a Massachusetts woman whose body was found on a York beach Friday afternoon died as the result of a homicide, from blunt force injury to the head.

The body of Rhonda Pattelena, 35, of Bedford, Massachusetts, was found by police on Short Sands Beach just before 4 p.m. Friday, state police said.

The woman's domestic partner, Jeffrey Buchannan, 33, also of Bedford, Massachusetts, was detained at the scene and later charged with murder.

York police said Friday that officers went to the beach after receiving several 911 calls reporting a man assaulting a woman behind a large rock.

Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit - South and the Eliot Police Department assisted the York Police Department with the investigation.

Buchannan remains at York County Jail and is expected to make a first court appearance in York County Superior Court in Alfred next week, Maine State Police spokesman Shannon Moss said Saturday.

A GoFundMe page has been created to fund the funeral and other expenses for Rhonda Pattelena. To donate, click here.