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Suspect in murder of Marshfield couple arrested in Florida Friday night

Murder victims would have celebrated 50th wedding anniversary next year

Christopher M. KeeleyMiami-Dade county

The Weymouth man accused of murdering a Marshfield couple was arrested by Florida police Friday night, following a days-long manhunt that began after officers found the victims in their home Tuesday night.

Christopher M. Keeley, 27, who is accused of stabbing and bludgeoning Carl Mattson and Vicki L. Mattson to death, was taken into custody by Miami Beach police, according to a statement released Saturday from Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Marshfield Police Chief Phillip A. Tavares.

Keeley’s arrest comes as the couple’s family said they will both be remembered at a funeral Mass this week.

Carl Mattson, 72, who was known as “Buddy,” had been “quietly and bravely” fighting trachea cancer for more than a year, according to a death notice posted by the C.C. Shepherd Funeral Home in South Weymouth.

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“Through his positive attitude he tackled it straight on and was beating it,” his family said in the notice. “He was healthy and carefree in his final days.”

Keeley will have a chance to decide in a Florida hearing scheduled for Monday whether he will waive rendition. If he does, he will return to Massachusetts to face charges in the case, according to the statement from Cruz and Tavares.

Keeley was arrested at 8:20 p.m. Friday by Miami Beach police in the area of 925 West 41st St., the statement said. He was booked at about 6 a.m. Saturday, according to online Miami-Dade County inmate records.

A mugshot included in the online filing shows Keeley, whose hair was dyed red, with what appeared to be several fresh bruises and scratches on his face.

Representatives of the Miami Beach Police Department did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.

Keeley’s family offered its condolences to the Mattsons’ family in a statement Wednesday, and said they are cooperating with the investigation.

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“The events that are alleged to have occurred are shocking and truly devastating to all involved,” the Keeley family said in the statement.

Attorney Kathleen Fay, who is representing the Keeley family, said in a brief phone interview Saturday that the family would not comment again until after his arraignment.

Keeley’s mother has told officials that he “knows he is not allowed” in her home.

Investigators reported that friends and acquaintances described Keeley as acting “psychotic” and that he was angry and afraid he would end up homeless. A woman, who had considered letting Keeley stay with her, threw him out on Thanksgiving Day after Keeley allegedly hit her.

A friend dropped Keeley off at the Mattsons’ home that evening. It is not clear when the couple were killed. They were last seen alive on Thanksgiving, when they celebrated the holiday with relatives, according to court papers.

The notices released by the funeral home gave their date of death as Nov. 29 — the day police found them.

Keeley had been recently told by the couple that he was no longer welcome in their house.

A police affidavit said that Keeley allegedly told a friend the night of Nov. 25 that he had harmed them. There had been an altercation between Carl Mattson and Keeley over the couple’s barking dog, he told the friend, which resulted in the killings.

On Nov. 26, the friend asked police to conduct a well-being check on the couple in their Gotham Hill Drive home in Marshfield. No one responded when officers knocked on the door. A Mattson family member has said that Keeley moved out and was living in Quincy.

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Police returned Tuesday after Keeley’s friend offered additional details about the alleged attack on the Mattsons, and officers found the couple slain inside their home. Their dog had also been killed, and its death is part of the murder investigation, officials have said.

Keeley was sentenced to a year in prison after he pleaded guilty to a 2014 beating and robbery of an autistic man in Weymouth, according to law enforcement officials. The judge in the case ordered Keeley undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluation before Keeley was sentenced.

Kristin Robinson, the couple’s daughter, thanked well-wishers for their support in a Facebook post Friday.

“My parents had the biggest hearts trying to help anyone in need. ... Let’s pray that justice will be served,” she said.

Their 50th wedding anniversary was next year, and Vicki Mattson would have celebrated her 71st birthday last Wednesday, according to their death notices.

They were both working at the Home Depot store in Plymouth at the time of their deaths.

The couple began dating as teenagers in Weymouth, where they were raised, educated, and graduated high school just a year apart in the early 1970s. The couple married in 1973, and started their family in Brockton before settling in Marshfield.

Vicki Mattson worked for John Hancock for many years, but took a break from working to be at home with the couple’s children during their early years, according to her death notice.

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“Vicki always thought of others ahead of her own needs, famous for her generosity and open-door,” her family said in the notice.

Carl Mattson worked for Pneumatic Scale in Quincy and later for Russ Electric in Hingham, according to his notice.

He would often say he “never had a bad day” — he had a joyous and happy nature, and was always smiling.

“Buddy and Vicki lived their lives well and full, never turning down an opportunity for adventure including camping in Maine or going to Disney with the whole family,” his notice said.

The couple are survived by many family members, including their two children and their grandchildren, the notice said.

Visitation hours will be held at the C.C. Shepherd Funeral Home in South Weymouth on Wednesday, from 4 to 8 p.m.

A funeral Mass is scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday at Old South Union Church, also in South Weymouth.

The couple, described as inseparable by their family, will be buried together.

John R. Ellement and Emily Sweeney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.