She was on her favorite beach in Maine. On the planet for that matter.  It was her "safe haven" according to friends.

Rhonda Pattelena, 35, of Bedford, Massachusetts, had been to Short Sands Beach in York, Maine, many times before. The 1.3 mile long beach with the big hotel on it is owned by the town of York, and would normally be loaded with tourists and sunbathers during the hot summer months, but there were just a few folks out this past Friday afternoon as Pattelena and Jeffrey Buchannan, 33, also of Bedford, strolled along the sand and over the rocks.

Rhonda’s sister, Jessica Pattelena, told the Boston Globe this week, "“We used to go there every summer, every summer. She was a mermaid. She loved the beach. She always had her toes in the sand. She loved the waves.”

The mother of three boys was on the beach that day "sharing the joy" with her on and off again domestic partner, and father of her 2 year-old.  According the the Globe, Buchannan had just recently re-entered her life.

Melissa Matranga, a close friend who had grown up with Ms. Pattelena said this week that Rhonda "Saw good in him when there really was no good in him. She just wanted to believe that he was her soulmate.”

Around 4 this past Friday afternoon, York Police received multiple 911 calls from various people on the beach that a woman was being assaulted "behind a large rock."  When cops showed up they discovered Rhonda Pattelena had been beaten severely, and had passed away from the onslaught.  They arrested Jeffrey Buchannan, a person that had assaulted Rhonda before in 2017, while also kidnapping two of her children from previous relationships.

Jeffrey Buchannan was hauled away and charged with murder.

Wondering why no one had picked up the 2 year-old child from daycare that afternoon, Rhonda Pattelena's mother called the police, who informed her of the unfortunate news of her daughter's passing.

Ms. Pattelena and Ms. Matranga had come up with a code word to be used in times of trouble, and a text would be all it would take for one to come to the aid of the other.  Rhonda Pattelena never got a chance to send off a text to her friend, from her favorite beach.

Angela Patch, another long-time friend of Rhonda's made a trip to Short Sands Beach in York early this week and told NECN.com, "“It's sad, but knowing Rhonda and knowing her love for the beach, especially this beach, there is a peace. It took me a couple days, but I just felt like I had to come to just — just talk to her, and just be — be here, you know? This was our favorite spot.”

Now, a vigil is planned for this victim of domestic violence this Friday night at 7:15 on Short Sands Beach.

Ms. Matranga has set up a GoFundMe.com account to cover the unexpected expenses and to support Rhonda's 17, 14, and 2 year-olds boys, named Bobby, Noah, and Jackson.  The account has a goal of $100,000, and as of this writing contains $43,335.

The GoFundMe page tell us that heaven gained an angel, and that Rhonda was a beautiful, loving, caring, and generous person, she had such a big heart, she was always smiling and laughing. She was so full of life. 

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