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Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Ypsilanti man accused of murdering girlfriend in New York was sex offender

By John Counts


Brian Lowry

From Facebook

The Ypsilanti man arrested Saturday in connection with the slaying of his girlfriend in New York State pleaded no contest in 1997 to sexually assaulting an Ypsilanti girl under the age of 13, according to court records.

Brian Christopher Lowry, now 32, was 16 years old when he was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the Washtenaw County Trial Court. In August 1996, Lowry was arrested and accused of sexually penetrating a girl under the age of 13 at "an abandoned gravel pit pond" near Joan Circle in Ypsilanti Township, court records indicate.

Records list Lowry's address at the time as being in the mobile home park where the assault took place. He stood mute to the charges when arraigned and was held on a $10,000 cash bond. A subsequent competency examination determined Lowry was mentally fit to stand trial.

He was held at the Washtenaw County Juvenile Detention center until the summer of 1997, when he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to court records. The first-degree charge was dismissed.

After the plea, he was sent to live at the Adrian Training School, a residential treatment center for juveniles, with an opportunity for his case to be reviewed every six months, according to court records. He stayed at the school until 2000 when he was released to the Academy Hall in Kalamazoo, a halfway house for juveniles.

Four months after being sent there, Lowry disappeared. In October 2000, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest that stated: "Brian did not return to this lawful placement from work and remains away. His whereabouts are unknown."

A month later, court records indicate Lowry pleaded guilty to violating his probation. In March 2001, he was released from the Adrian Training School to the Dawn Farm alcohol and drug treatment facility. He was eventually released from custody in July 2001.

A second court case shows Lowry failed to register as a sex offender in 2005. He is listed as having an address in Buffalo, N.Y., near where Heather Rylowicz, 34, was found killed in her North Tonawanda home, according to media reports.

Lowry faces a charge of second-degree murder in her death, the Tonawanda News reported.

For failing to comply with his status as a sex offender, Lowry was sentenced to 12 months in the Washtenaw County Jail. He served roughly 90 days of that sentence before being released in August 2006.

According to media reports, Rylowicz was found dead Wednesday in her home. Lowry was arrested early Saturday.

He is currently being held without bond in the murder case.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

I read the Ann Arbor.Com news articles most days. It seems to me that every time there is a person affiliated with a major crime in the area the recovery center called, "The Farm" is some how connected. I am not opposed to recovery programs, but are they recruiting convicted felons, child rapist, and murders to the area. Where do these individuals go when their treatment funding runs out, and they are left on the street to sink or swim? I would have to say that they make themselves at home right here in our neighborhoods living in transitional recovery housing, or return to their using life style. Because of this recruiting, we can continue to read articles like the one above.

Amanda Zee

Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Hey! My brother-in-law went through the Dawn Farms program and now... he's... in prison... oh wait... ;)

Amanda Zee

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

Wow, I went to school with him from elementary on into high school. He always was a bit "off". I'm very sorry to hear about these crimes, but somehow, I'm not very surprised either.

John Counts

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

tdw, the media reports from New York list him as an Ypsilanti resident, which means that's probably what the police there are referring to him as. This probably means his official residence on his driver's license lists an Ypsilanti address.

Richard Carter

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Who needs to check police reports when you can check what his Facebook lists his city as?


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

John.....My point is....First is not known for their investigative reporting.So other than their seemingly desire to drag Ypsilanti into the dirt whenever or however they can how would they even know about this ( IDK was this on local TV news ? )Do you really think if someone from Ann Arbor was accused of murder 500+ miles away they would run a piece with a headline the exact same way as this one is but saying " Ann Arbor man " ?


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

So his Facebook says he lives in Tonawanda New York which would make him a Tonawanda man.So why does find it necessary to run a headline saying " Ypsilanti man " ? Oh never mind I know why

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

tdw: I was wondering the same thing. If he was born in Ypsi in 1939 and never returned but became a serial killer, would call him an Ypsilanti man?


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

The vast nationwide conspiracy against Ypsilanti appears to have spread to New York.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

If he was 16 in 1996 then he was an adult in 1998. He stayed at Adrian Training School for juveniles until 2000 at the age 20.. Why wasn't he transfered to prison as an adult in 1998? Did he develop his drug and alcohol addiction only in the month he was missing or also during incarceration under the watchful eye of the state? His parents have anything to say?


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

I agree. There's a lot of missing information in this story.

music to my ear

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Does N.Y. have the death penalty if found chance of him coming back to Mi. ?

Ed Kimball

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

New York has not had a death penalty since 2004:

Basic Bob

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

I can see why he is a suspect. Sorry, New York.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

"was found killed"?


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

So, what I'm reading here, is that had this guy not been released early, given second, third and fourth chances, a girl in New York might be alive today.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 4:55 a.m.

not so much chances as this is the way our system dysfunctions.