Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 24, 2012

Arrest made in NT homicide

Niagara Gazette — NORTH TONAWANDA — Police arrested a Michigan native early Saturday in the slaying of his girlfriend who was found dead in her Lincoln Avenue home last week.

Brian Lowry, 32, faces a single count of second-degree murder in the death of Heather Rylowicz, 34. Rylowicz was found dead in her home Wednesday after neighbors concerned her dog was alone, her car was missing and mail was piling up on her porch called police. Officers responded and found her lifeless body left in the home for an undetermined amount of time.

Friday, North Tonawanda investigators announced they were publicly seeking to speak with Lowry, who neighbors said had lived with Rylowicz for some time, but police declined to call him a suspect at the time.

Citing a pending felony hearing or consideration by a grand jury, North Tonawanda Police Chief Randy Szukala said the department is still withholding details surrounding Rylowicz's death and Lowry's implication in it.

"Based on the investigation and where it is at at the particular time ... it was enough to charge him with second-degree murder," Szukala said. "Can't really go into too much regarding (why)."

The victim's car remains missing, "one of the open ends of the investigation," the chief said.

Szukala said Buffalo police located Lowry early Saturday and he agreed to be transported to North Tonawanda for questioning. After that conversation, police formally charged him with Rylowicz's death. Szukala wouldn't say whether Lowry admitted he killed the woman.

Online profiles of the two individuals show they began dating in July, when Lowry changed his Facebook relationship status to "in a relationship" and told his handful of friends on the site "I'm so happy-I have the best girlfriend in the world!!"

His profile says he attended high school in Ypsilanti, Mich. It wasn't immediately clear how long he'd lived in Western New York.

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