He appeared in a Brattleboro court Monday as a fugitive from justice, but 43-year-old James Robarge faces a much more serious crime in New Hampshire.
"There is one charge of reckless second degree murder and it alleges that he recklessly caused the death of his wife, Kelly Robarge, by inflicting trauma on her body," New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell told the court.
Kelly Robarge was last seen alive June 27th. Her Charlestown home turned into a crime scene as police on both sides of the Connecticut River actively worked the case.
"Mr. Robarge was estranged from his wife at the time she disappeared. He was living in Vermont with his stepfather, so there have been communications throughout this investigation," Morrell said.
James Robarge was taken into custody last week in Bellows Falls on unrelated charges. During that arraignment he had been questioned by police about his wife's disappearance. Over the weekend, more than a week after she disappeared, her body was discovered off a back road in Unity, New Hampshire. "The cause of death was by homicidal violence, but by undetermined means," Morrell said.
After Monday's arraignment, Morrell said the murder happened the very same day Kelly Robarge filed for divorce. Morell had no comments on whether Robarge admitted to the crime or about a possible motive
And now the process to extradite him to New Hampshire to face the murder charge has begun, but, Robarge is fighting that. "He has indicated that he does not wish to waive those rights. He would like the formal process to begin, which involves getting a governor's warrant from the State of New Hampshire," Morrell said.
Morrell says the extradition process could take between 30 to 60 days. In the meantime, the judge did order that he be held without bail.
Kelly Robarge was a mother and a grandmother. Neighbors have said she was friendly. They also said that she and her husband -- when they were together -- kept very much to themselves.
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