Five weeks after the homicide unit of Toronto police began investigating the deaths of pharmaceutical billionaire couple Barry Sherman, 75, and his wife, Honey, 70, (pictured) an officer said the couple was murdered.
Detective Sergeant Susan Gomes on Friday said police have sufficient evidence to describe the case as a double homicide.
The Shermans were targeted. No one has been charged yet and the police cannot discuss the possible suspects or their motive at this stage, Gomes said.
When the investigation began, police gave equal weight to three possibilities: double suicide, murder-suicide and double murder. As it progressed, the double murder theory gained credence.
Gomes said the Shermans were last seen alive in the evening hours of December 13 and they were not heard from again until their bodies were found two days later by their real estate agent who entered the home as his calls went unanswered.
The two were found hanging by belts from a railing that surrounds their indoor pool. They were in a semi-seated position on the pool deck.
Earlier this week, Sherman’s family released the findings of a second autopsy report which was part of a private investigation they launched to find the truth about their parents’ death. That report conflicted with the murder-suicide theory.
It said the Shermans died by “ligature neck compressions” and men’s leather belts were used to strangle them.
Quoting the report, the Toronto Star said the remaining end of each belt tied around their necks was looped around a low railing to hold the couple in place.
Responding to Gomes’ statement, Sherman’s family said they had suspected from the onset it may be a case of double murder.
Earlier, while rejecting the murder-suicide theory, friends of Sherman said he had a zest for life and he loved his wife.
On Friday, his family said they will continue to support the police in their efforts to seek justice for their parents. Police have released the home back to the family.
Sherman, the founder of the generic drug maker Apotex and one of the richest men in Canada, seriously thought rival drug companies may hire someone to kill him.
On Friday, Apotex Inc.’s CEO and president Jeremy Desai resigned from the company, effective immediately, Fox Business reported.
A company spokesman said Desai left the job “to pursue other opportunities”.