Pennsylvania State Police take over investigation into woman’s body found off Route 51

CHIPPEWA TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A woman whose body was found Wednesday morning near Route 51 in Beaver County is the victim of an apparent homicide, police said.

Sharon Benyo, 46, was found dead in a field around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday by utility workers, investigators said. Chippewa Township police were quickly able to secure the area until forensics was able to process evidence.

On Thursday, the Beaver County Coroner’s Office said Benyo died of gunshot wounds to her head. Chippewa Township’s police chief added that the gunshot wounds were to the back of her head.

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Benyo, the ex-wife of well-known Beaver County defense attorney Gerald Benyo, was released from state prison about three weeks ago and was on the right track to getting her life in order, according to Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier.

“Anyone who has seen Ms. Benyo in the past three days -- New Brighton, Beaver Falls, Chippewa -- please call the state police. Or please call Chippewa Township police. And if anyone has seen a suspicious vehicle pulling off Route 51 westbound, west of McKinley Avenue in the last three days, pulling off an undeveloped track of land just past the car dealerships, again call the state police and let us know,” Lozier said.

Chippewa Township’s police chief confirmed the department is working with the Pennsylvania State Police major case team on the investigation. More information is expected to be released later Thursday.