‘Suspicious death’ of Amherst Funeral Director Ruled a Suicide

Jan. 9, 2020

Yellow crime scene tape could be seen on Nov. 4 outside the John E. Roberts Funeral Home on Grover Cleveland Highway. Charles Durante, a funeral home director there, was found in the middle of the road and later died in what police now say was a suicide. (Aaron Besecker/Buffalo News)
Yellow crime scene tape could be seen on Nov. 4 outside the John E. Roberts Funeral Home on Grover Cleveland Highway. Charles Durante, a funeral home director there, was found in the middle of the road and later died in what police now say was a suicide. 

The “suspicious death” of a man who was found last year in the road outside the John E. Roberts Funeral Home in Amherst was a suicide, police say.

Police responding to a 911 call just after 6 a.m. Nov. 4 found Charles Durante in the middle of North Bailey Avenue, near Grover Cleveland Highway. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he died around 1 p.m.

As Amherst police investigated how the 43-year-old ended up in the street, they discovered a possible hazmat situation at the funeral home involving an embalming fluid known as “dricav.” Hazmat crews responded and declared the area cleared.

Durante was a director at the funeral home at 280 Grover Cleveland for about 10 years and lived in an upper-floor apartment.
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