Police find no indications of foul play in death of Barry Snyder Jr.

By: Dan Herbeck

Investigators from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office looked into the death of Seneca Nation businessman Barry E. Snyder Jr. but have found “no indications of foul play,” Sheriff Timothy E. Whitcomb said late Wednesday.

“From all indications, based on our investigation and based on autopsy results, we believe he died of natural causes, believed to be cardiac arrest,” Whitcomb told The Buffalo News.

Snyder, the 52-year-old son of Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr., died last Thursday at his Irving home. According to Whitcomb, police investigated the death because people who knew Snyder told officers he had been involved in a fight or confrontation about a week before he died.

“We learned that he was involved in some kind of fight or altercation in the Indian Hill neighborhood about a week before his death. He had come home that night with a knot on his head,” Whitcomb said.

An autopsy that was conducted by the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office found “no indications of foul play” or any link between the altercation and the death, the sheriff said.

The Indian Hill neighborhood is on the Seneca Nation’s Cattaraugus Reservation.

“We still are chasing leads about what happened on Indian Hill. We’re also waiting for the results of toxicology tests,” Whitcomb said. “But based on the autopsy results, we’ve got no indication that trauma from the fight had any link to his death.”

Although Snyder died in Erie County, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office was asked to investigate because the altercation took place in Cattaraugus County, Whitcomb said.

A father of seven who formerly ran a smoke shop, Snyder was found not breathing at his home. Police and emergency medical technicians responded to the home, and an ambulance took him to Lake Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Whitcomb said.

A former Silver Creek High School football star who collected vintage cars and motorcycles, Snyder was buried Tuesday after a service in Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Irving.