NEWBURY — Six months after a local woman died at a Boston hospital, an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for her boyfriend after being charged with domestic assault and battery and then skipping his arraignment in Newburyport District Court. 

John C. Keraghan, 35, of 250 South Road, Kensington, New Hampshire, was formally charged on Sept. 3 with a count of assault and battery on a family/household member and ordered to court Wednesday for arraignment. But with members of the victim’s family in the courtroom waiting for his appearance, Keraghan failed to show. 

The attack took place on Feb. 1, and a month later, on March 2, his girlfriend was found unresponsive inside her Byfield home, according to court records. After Keraghan attempted to revive her, paramedics took over and then transported her to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. A day later, she died at Boston Medical Center. 

An autopsy report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner listed her cause of death as “undetermined.” 

But medical records released by the hospital where she died showed that she recently had suffered multiple rib fractures. That, along with text message records between the two and testimony by family and friends, strongly suggested she had suffered injuries in the months leading up to her death. Based on those troubling results and after interviewing Keraghan at his sister’s home in New Hampshire, Newbury police Detective Sgt. Aaron Wotjkowski applied for a criminal complaint, according to court records. 

According to Wotjkowski’s report, Keraghan and the victim were watching television at her house on the night of March 2. At one point, Keraghan left the room for a few minutes only to find her not breathing upon his return. Upon the advice of a 911 dispatcher, he attempted to revive her with CPR.

He did so until emergency medical technicians arrived and took over. She was then transported to the hospital, where she died the next day.  “Concerns related to the circumstances related to her death were brought to the attention of the police due to bruising that was present on (the victim’s) body,” Wotjkowski wrote in his report.  During the initial stages of the investigation, her cell phone was turned over to police by her mother after she found “concerning messages and images located within.” 

The victim’s mother also told police that while the two had been living together, she saw him punch holes in the walls out of anger. 

In late July 2016, a previous assault and battery on family/household member charge against Keraghan was generally continued for three months by the same court. 

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