Authorities in Canada announced Friday that they are investigating the deaths of a billionaire Toronto couple as a double homicide.
A real estate agent on Dec. 15 discovered Barry and Honey Sherman dead, hanging by belts from a railing circling their indoor pool. They were discovered in a semi-seated position on the pool deck, located in the basement of their three-story Toronto mansion.
An autopsy revealed the cause of death for both were “ligature neck compression” or strangulation.
“We have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation and that both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted,” Detective Sgt. Susan Gomes told reporters during a press conference.
Private investigators think wealthy Toronto couple was murdered
Following the gruesome discovery, several media outlets quoted unidentified police sources as saying the Apotex Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc. founder and his wife died in a murder-suicide.
“I don’t know where they came from,” Gomes said, explaining authorities weighed a possible double-suicide, murder-suicide, and double-murder before settling on the latter.
The couple’s four adult children immediately railed against the murder-suicide theory and hired their own team of private investigators — several of them former Toronto homicide detectives — to look into the deaths.
Those investigators found signs suggesting the pair, well-known in the community for their philanthropy, had their wrists bound together at some point, a source familiar with the probe told CBC. The couple’s hands were not tied when they were found.
Slain Toronto couple’s family rebuffs murder-suicide theory
No rope was discovered on the scene and police have not yet confirmed this detail.
The private investigators also recently concluded the Shermans were murdered by multiple killers, according to the source.
Gomes declined to identify potential suspects, adding there is an “extensive list” of people authorities are seeking out for interviews.
She told the Toronto Star police have devoted more than 1,000 hours to the case, adding officers required the six weeks since the Shermans were found to comb through their massive mansion in North York.
Toronto billionaire, wife found dead in possible murder-suicide
Following the press conference, the Sherman family said in a statement that they were not surprised by the latest development in the case.
“The announcement by the Toronto Police Service that the tragic deaths of their parents are being investigated as double homicide was anticipated by the Sherman family,” the statement reads. “The conclusion was expressed by the family from the outset and is consistent with the findings of an independent autopsy and investigation.”
With News Wire Services
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