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Boyfriend accused of strangling mother of 7 to death with dog leash

MALDEN, Mass. — A man accused of strangling a mother of seven in her home was arraigned Thursday in Malden District Court, reports CBS Boston.

Ryan Power, 32, is accused of killing his girlfriend, Leah Penny, 31. He is being held without bail. Prosecutors say Power was charged with assault and battery on Penny in May. At that time, they reportedly requested a restraining order, but it was not obtained.

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Ryan Power in court June 22, 2017 CBS Boston

Malden Police were called to the home Penny and Power shared around 9:49 a.m. Wednesday after getting a call about an unresponsive woman. Prosecutors said Penny's mother went to the home to see her grandchildren, and found her daughter dead with a dog leash around her neck.

"One of her hands was actually by this leash on her neck, attempting to pull it back down," prosecutor Elizabeth Dunigan said in court.

Penny and Power's two children, ages 1 and 2 years old, were upstairs in a crib, asleep and unharmed. Her mother told CBS Boston that Penny has five other children between the ages of 4 and 14.

The station reports that police began looking for Power, whom they said had left the home Tuesday night after getting in a fight with Penny.

A warrant was issued for Power on the charges of strangulation and assault and battery on a household or family member. He was found and arrested in Seabrook, New Hampshire Thursday, where he waived extradition and was taken back to Massachusetts.

Earlier this month, Penny wrote a Facebook post that said in part, "I am sorry for all that I have done to Ryan and his family … Please tell him to forgive me because I do love him and what I've done is unforgivable and unexplainable. I just need help and I need him."

Penny's mother said she loved her children and didn't deserve this.

"She's left seven children," she said. "He took her away from seven children."

Power's defense attorney did not comment on the case, saying he needed more time to review it.

Power is due back in court July 7 for a bail hearing.