NORTH TONAWANDA – North Tonawanda police on Thursday continued their homicide investigation into the suspicious death of a Lincoln Avenue woman.
Police on Wednesday were called to a home in the 200 block of Lincoln, where they discovered the body of a 34-year-old woman.
Neighbors said they knew the woman by the first name of Heather, and records show that a Heather M. Weber lived at the home at 201 Lincoln Ave.
Police said the death has been classified as a homicide but would not specify how the woman died.
The cause of the death is under investigation, they said, and an autopsy is scheduled for this morning.
The apparent murder took the residents of this tight-knit community near the Erie Canal by surprise.
"Total shocker," said Don Winter, who lives across the street from the woman. "This is a quiet neighborhood. Stuff like this doesn't happen here."
Winter said he recently had a conversation with the woman about her new job at a machine shop near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
The woman was known for playing with her dog in the backyard of the two-story home and was friendly to her neighbors, but she otherwise kept to herself, according to those who knew her.
She had a fairly regular schedule, neighbors said – except until recently, when they did not notice the woman coming home and realized her car had been gone from the home's driveway for about two weeks.
After mail started piling up and the woman's dog could be seen in the window, neighbors called police.
"That just wasn't like her," Winter said. "She worked, then she came home. We all basically know everyone's schedule."
The woman's family was believed to live in the Southern Tier, the neighbors said, and the woman lived alone.
One neighbor reported hearing arguments between the woman and a boyfriend near the end of summer, but police were never called to the home, the neighbor said.
The Niagara Falls Police Department assisted with the initial investigation.