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Estranged husband accused in N.H. woman’s death

Warrant is issued

James Robarge sat in Superior Court in Brattleboro, Vt., Wednesday during arraignment on motor vehicle charges.

Kayla Rice/Brattleboro Reformer via AP

James Robarge sat in Superior Court in Brattleboro, Vt., Wednesday during arraignment on motor vehicle charges.

CONCORD, N.H. — The death of a New Hampshire woman who had been missing for nearly two weeks is a homicide, and an arrest warrant has been issued for her estranged husband in Vermont on a second-degree murder charge, authorities said Monday.

The charge alleges that James Robarge recklessly caused the death of 42-year-old Kelly Robarge on June 27 in Charlestown, by inflicting trauma to her body.

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James Robarge of Rockingham is jailed at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt., on unrelated motor vehicle charges stemming from his arrest last week in Bellows Falls near a medical center.

Vermont State Police have charged the 43-year-old Robarge with being a fugitive from justice. He was arraigned on that charge in Windham District Court in Brattleboro Monday afternoon.

The Brattleboro Reformer reported that Robarge, who is being held without bail, refused to waive his rights to extradition. That means the state of New Hampshire now has 30 days to file a request for his return to the state to face the second-degree murder charge.

His attorney, Mimi Brill, declined to comment.

Fish and Game officers and New England K-9 Search and Rescue found the body of a woman Saturday in a wooded area in Unity. An autopsy Sunday confirmed the body was that of Kelly Robarge, and the cause of death was homicidal violence by undetermined causes.

On June 27, the day she disappeared, Kelly Robarge had filed for a divorce from Robarge.

Shortly after she was reported missing, New Hampshire authorities had said they feared she had suffered serious injury or death.

A vigil was held for her in Charlestown and a fund-raising effort was being conducted in nearby Claremont.

A plastic jug on the counter of Wade’s Place, an ice cream stand, had the sign ‘‘Help Bring Kelly Robarge Home Safe.’’ Once it was confirmed that her body had been found, the sign had been changed to ‘‘Help Us Lay Kelly to Rest Peacefully,’’ said Mercedes West, who works at the ice cream stand and goes to college with one of Robarge’s daughters.

West said that more than $100 has been raised so far. A lot of people who do not know the family or what happened have donated, she said.

‘‘We’re going to continue as long as we can to help out the family in their time of need,’’ she said.

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