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Mansfield woman charged in death of Boston police officer, DA says

Karen A. Read is escorted into District Court for her arraignment in Stoughton on Wednesday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

A Mansfield woman was arrested for the death of a veteran Boston police officer whose body was found in the snow outside of a Canton home early Saturday during a raging nor’easter, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office.

Karen Read, 41, of Mansfield, is facing multiple charges in connection with the death of Officer John O’Keefe, a 16-year member of the Boston police who is being mourned as a “brother” in blue, and a devoted family man, officials said.

Read is charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision causing death, and motor vehicle homicide, the district attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday night.


Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe.BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

“After several days of intensive investigation, detectives from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office late today obtained an arrest warrant for Ms. Read,” Morrissey said in the statement.

The statement did not disclose the nature of Read’s relationship to O’Keefe. But two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation said she was O’Keefe’s girlfriend.

Authorities say Read drove with O’Keefe to Fairview Road in Canton “possibly shortly after midnight,” the district attorney’s office said.

O’Keefe, 46, of Canton, was found outside a Fairview Road residence shortly after 6 a.m. the next morning, while a powerful snow dropped more than 20 inches of snow in the town and drove temperatures as low as 12 degrees.

He was pronounced dead several hours later at Good Samaritan Hospital, the district attorney’s office said.

Read was arrested by Massachusetts State Police officers and taken to the Blue Hills Barracks for processing Tuesday night and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning in Stoughton District Court, Morrissey said.

“Additional narrative information may be put into the record during arraignment,” Morrissey said. “Tonight our thoughts are very much with those whom John left behind.”


It was not known Tuesday night if Read had retained a lawyer.

Boston police Superintendent in Chief Gregory Long issued a statement following Read’s arrest Tuesday night and said the department “continues to grieve over the tragic loss of our brother.”

“John was a kind person, dedicated to his family, and will be greatly missed by his coworkers and anyone who had the privilege of meeting him,” Long said in the statement. “Today, the Massachusetts State Police and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office arrested the person responsible for John’s death.”

Long thanked State Police investigators and the district attorney’s office, as well as first responders in Canton who were called to Fairview Road early Saturday morning after O’Keefe was found outside.

“At this time, we are stunned and saddened and offer whatever support we can to John’s family,” Long said in the statement. “Boston Police Peer Support will be available to assist department members in need of emotional support.”

Mike Bello, John R. Ellement and Andrea Estes of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him @NickStoico.