A Massachusetts man accused of killing his domestic partner on a beach in York was charged with murder Friday night, state police said.

Police say the body of Rhonda Pattelena, 35, of Bedford, Massachusetts, was found on Short Sands Beach after multiple people called 911 at 3:54 p.m. Friday to report a man assaulting a woman behind a large rock on the beach. Jeffrey Buchannan, 35, also from Bedford, was detained by responding officers and taken to the York Police Department, where he was charged with murder, Maine State Police said.

Pattelena and Buchannan were domestic partners and have one child together, police said.

Buchannan was taken to York County Jail following his arrest.

Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, said authorities are confident there is no on-going risk to the public.

State Police detectives and crime scene technicians were still working at the scene late Friday evening and expect to continue the investigation through the weekend. Police from York and Eliot are assisting with the investigation.

Short Sands is a quarter-mile-long sandy beach bordered by rocky cliffs in the village of York Beach.


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