YORK, Maine (CBS) – An online fundraiser for a Bedford mother murdered during an alleged domestic violence incident on a popular Maine beach has surpassed $24,000.

Rhonda Pattelena, 35, was killed Friday on Short Sands Beach in York, Maine. Jeffrey Buchannan, 33, also of Bedford, was arrested.

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Pattelena and Buchannan had a child together, police said.

(Photo Credit: From York County Jail)

“She was such a good person. She didn’t deserve this. She didn’t,” said Angela Patch, Pattelena’s friend. “She’s a very good mom. She has three kids, they’re her life. It’s so just hard. Her middle son is in denial. He doesn’t want to think his mom isn’t coming back.”

The GoFundMe will go toward funeral arrangements and her three kids.

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According to Patch, York Beach was Pattelena’s favorite place to visit. Her family is hoping to raise enough money to install a memorial bench there.

Witnesses called 911 Friday to report a man assaulting a woman behind a large rock on the beach. Pattelena was found dead from blunt force trauma to the head.

Rhonda Pattelena (GoFundMe Photo)

Buchannan was arrested and charged with murder. He is due in court Monday.

Patch said Pattelena’s memory shouldn’t be tied to how she died.

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“She would want to be remembered for the great soul that she was. Very caring, great mom, great friend. Very generous,” said Patch.

CBSBoston.com Staff