SCRANTON -- Police in Scranton have made an arrest in a homicide.
Roughly 24 hours after Scranton Police started investigating the homicide, they charged Ryan McNamara, 37, of Scranton in the death of Kathleen Talerico, 45.
Investigators said McNamara caused the death of his on-again off-again girlfriend after punching her repeatedly in the face at a home in Dickson City on New Year's Eve.
"There was some significant injury to the brain of the victim, which ultimately resulted in her death, some period of time after the assault had taken place," said First Assistant Lackawanna County District Attorney Gene Talerico, who is not related to the victim.
A police cruiser sat outside the home on Orchard Street in Scranton where Kathleen Talerico was found partially clothed and badly beaten. An autopsy discovered she died at her home from bleeding on the brain.
Neighbors who knew the victim said they can't believe what happened.
"She was a friendly person, outgoing. Pretty shocking," said Damian Grayek, a neighbor.
According to police, a neighbor found Kathleen Talerico's body in an upstairs bedroom at her home in Scranton on Friday. Talerico suffered a beating at the hands of her boyfriend in Dickson City, and wound up getting a ride home to Scranton with a friend, according to court papers.
Prosecutors said McNamara came in for questioning and admitted punching Talerico at least three times.
The fight happened at a home on Elm Street in Dickson City, according to arrest papers. Those documents also indicate the two have a history of abuse, a protection from abuse order in 2013 that Talerico eventually withdrew before the holidays.
"It was a tumultuous relationship, one that did see some domestic violence in it," said Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico.
Police towed the van McNamara drove, taking it to look for more evidence in the case of an alleged beating that left Talerico dead and McNamara locked up without bail.
Investigators could not say whether Talerico would be alive today if she or someone else had sought medical treatment after the alleged fight.
Prosecutors said alcohol was likely involved that night.
McNamara is locked up in Lackawanna County, facing one count of homicide.