Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Buonanduci’s Bludgeoning

"Peabody man arrested in estranged wife’s beating death" by Jennifer Smith, Globe Correspondent  March 28, 2015

A man suspected of fatally beating his estranged wife in Peabody was arrested Saturday morning after a high-speed chase through Essex County, officials said.

Joseph Buonanduci, 46, is accused of killing his wife, Donna Buonanduci, 45, in his home at 5 Putnam St. in Peabody and fleeing in her car, according to the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Donna Buonanduci reportedly drove to her estranged husband’s house earlier on Friday, the district attorney’s office said in a statement. Their son was alarmed when he hadn’t heard from his mother, the statement said. He went to the home, saw signs of a violent struggle, and called police just before 9 p.m. Friday, according to the district attorney’s office.

Peabody police called to the scene found Donna Buonanduci’s body in the house, officials said. State Police spokesman David Procopio said she had suffered “bludgeon-type injuries.”

A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office would not confirm the cause of death, but said Joseph Buonanduci was arrested in connection with the “beating death” of his wife.

Officers and State Police troopers searched for Joseph Buonanduci throughout the night, said Procopio.

Around 9:34 a.m. Saturday, they found Buonanduci in his wife’s Hyundai on Interstate 93 southbound in Methuen, Procopio said. As troopers attempted to pull him over, Buonanduci sped off. He was pursued onto Route 213 and Interstate 495 northbound.

When Buonanduci reached Amesbury, State Police threw down stop sticks — long rows of spikes designed to puncture the car’s tires — which the suspect was able to avoid. Amesbury police put down a second set of stop sticks, puncturing all four tires.

Buonanduci crashed his car into the guardrail, “possibly intentionally,” Procopio said. The car flipped over and the 20-minute chase came to a halt.

State Police closed the Interstate 495 northbound exit 55 ramp in Amesbury following the crash. It was reopened shortly after noon.

Buonanduci was taken to Anna Jacques Hospital with minor injuries, Procopio said.

He remains under police guard at the hospital. Officials expect him to be arraigned on murder charges in Peabody District Court on Monday.

A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Joseph Buonanduci’s family declined to comment Saturday. No one could be reached at a number listed for Donna Buonanduci’s family.

Assessors records list the Buonanducis as the owners of the gambrel-roofed house since 2004. Neighbors on Putnam Street declined to comment Saturday.

The Essex district attorney’s office, State Police detectives assigned to district attorney’s office, and Peabody police are investigating.