Toronto police said Sunday that the Canadian billionaire Barry Sherman, founder of the Apotex pharmaceutical group, and his wife Honey had died by strangulation, without clarifying the mystery surrounding the “suspicious deaths.”
The medical examiner, after autopsies, concluded that the death of both victims was caused by “strangulation in the neck,” said the police.
In a terse statement, the police in Canada’s largest city merely states that “the homicide service of the Toronto police is responsible for the investigation of the suspicious deaths.”
No hypothesis is therefore dismissed by the investigators on the death of the couple.
Following a call on Friday at 11:44 from the victims’ home in a wealthy Toronto neighborhood, police discovered on the spot the bodies identified as Barry Sherman, 75, and Honey Sherman, 70.
According to local media reports, the call was made by the real estate agent who was responsible for selling the Sherman’s house for nearly 7 million Canadian dollars.
No break-in evidence was found in the house, according to a local newspaper, quoting the police. One scenario evoked by the local media is that after killing his wife and hanging the body, Barry Sherman would have hanged himself at her side.
But the thesis of murder followed by suicide was blasted Saturday by the Sherman children: “we are shocked” by “a theory that neither their family nor their friends nor their colleagues believe”.
Deploring the unsupported rumors, the children called for a “thorough” investigation by the police to shed light on “the tragic deaths”.
“Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and a commitment to their family and community totally incompatible with the rumors about the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” according to a press release by the children.
Barry Sherman created Apotex, a generic drug company, in 1974, and was still chairman of the board. The company employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, more than half of whom work in more than 20 locations across Canada.
“With deep sadness,” Apotex management saluted the memory of its founder and his wife who, through their foundation, donated more than 50 million Canadian dollars (33 million euros) in the last ten years “.
These donations were largely intended for universities and the training of scientists. Toronto York University President Rhonda Lenton praised the memory of Honey Sherman, a long-time York board member, and her husband.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “saddened” by the Sherman’s death, paid tribute to “their vision and their spirit”.
According to Forbes magazine, Barry Sherman was among the 20 richest people in Canada, with a fortune valued at $3.7 billion.