Erie County's deputy commissioner of buildings and grounds has been found dead. The Erie County Sheriff's Department says they are treating it as a suicide.
The body of Dan Fitzgibbons was found Monday morning in Cattaraugus Creek near Springville. Erie County sent out a mass email to employees announcing the death Tuesday morning, reading, "It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Dan Fitzgibbons, our Deputy Commissioner of Buildings and Grounds. Dan was a friend to many and will be greatly missed. Should any employee wish to do so, crisis counselors will be available at Crisis Services 24/7 at (716) 834-3131."
County spokesman Dan Meyer told WBFO, at 6' 8", Fitzgibbons was hard to miss and a "very popular" and "humble guy." One message of condolence posted on Facebook called Fitzgibbons an "icon of Lackawanna," where he was also a city marshal serving warrants.
WBFO has learned that texts were sent from Fitzgibbons' cellphone to many people in the Rath Building Sunday. Fitzgibbons swiped into work Monday at 6:39 a.m. His body was found at 10:22 a.m. by Erie County Sheriff's Department.
“Yesterday the world lost a very good and kind hearted man with the passing of Dan Fitzgibbons. Dan was a devoted husband to his wife Denise and a good friend to all who knew him. We are all going to be a lot worse off without having Dan around. I know I will. My deepest and most sincere condolences are expressed to his wife Denise, his parents Bob and Elaine and his entire family. He will be missed," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in a statement.
Two investigations are underway, by Erie County and Lackawanna. The investigations include the possible theft of the cell phone, as officials try to piece together the events that led to Fitzgibbons' death.