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'Suspicious death' of Amherst funeral director ruled 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.

Assistant Police Chief Charles Cohen on Wednesday said an investigation determined Durante took his own life but Cohen did not elaborate on how Durante ended up in the road or whether his death had any connection to the hazmat situation.

Funeral director dies after being found in road. Police call it a 'suspicious death.'

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