Team of police make arrest on March Town of Tonawanda murder

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Acting on a nearly two-month-old investigation into the death of 51-year-old Roberta Rybinski, police in the Town of Tonawanda teamed up with police in Cattaraugus County to arrest a 49-year-old suspect on murder charges.

Officers say they found John M. Avent, 49, in Olean with the help of City of Olean Police and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office after they connected him to the March 8 murder of Rybinski in her Newell Avenue apartment.

Police discovered Rybinski’s body in her apartment days after the murder, as police say she hadn’t been heard from in some time. A detailed investigation began, leading police to interview dozens of witnesses and examine physical evidence.

Working with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, police say they sought forensic analysis and came to the conclusion that Avent killed Rybinski, although police have released very few details on how the murder transpired.

Avent faced arraignment on Sunday and is in the Erie County Holding Center without bail. He’ll return to court for a hearing on Thursday afternoon. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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