Two years after a Canadian billionaire couple was found dead in their Toronto mansion, authorities said Monday a private investigation into their killings has been completed as their own probe remains active.
Pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman, 75, founder of Apotex Inc., and his 70-year-old wife, Honey, were found dead on Dec. 15, 2017, in their north Toronto mansion.
On Monday, the Toronto Police Service said in a news release that a private investigation into the billionaire couple’s murders by the family at the outset of the slayings has been completed. The family had also set up a tip line and was offering up to 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.6 million) for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of a suspect.
“The Sherman family appreciates the hard work and dedication of the police officers working on the case,” police said. “They are committed to working with us, and have full confidence that the Toronto Police Service will solve this crime.”
CANADIAN BILLIONAIRE AND WIFE WERE MURDERED, COPS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE
The two were found hanging by belts from a railing that surrounded their indoor pool and were in a semi-seated position on the pool deck. Police had initially said the deaths were suspicious but said there were no signs of forced entry and they were not looking for suspects.
In the wake of the discovery, Canadian media outlets reported the deaths appeared to be a murder-suicide, which spurred friends to cast doubt on the reports. The couple’s four adult children later hired their own team of investigators.
Six weeks later, authorities said the couple was murdered.
Toronto police said Monday that to date, investigators have obtained 38 judicial authorizations, which have resulted in the searches of residential and commercial properties, electronic devices, and the production of 73 individual records.
In addition to the searches, 150 items have been submitted to the Centre of Forensic Science for testing, and investigators have interviewed 243 people.
“Two hundred and five tips have been provided directly to the police from the public and, to date, 343 tips have been provided to the police via the private investigative team,” police said Monday.
CAUSE OF CANADIAN BILLIONAIRES’ ‘SUSPICIOUS’ DEATHS AT HOME REVEALED
At a news conference on Monday, Toronto police homicide Insp. Hank Idsinga said the case is now solely in the hands of police and that the private tip line set up by the family is now inactive. Indsinga asked the public who have provided tips to the private investigation team to resubmit them to the police.
“Having tips come directly to us and avoiding any delay in receiving that information is going to be huge for us,” he told reporters. “The next few weeks is going to be very busy.”
Idsinga said the family’s $10 million reward for an arrest and conviction remains.
The family, through their lawyer Brian Greenspan, has been critical of Toronto police.
Sharon Timlin, a legal assistant to Greenspan, said in an email to The Associated Press that the private investigators were not fired. She said the work of the private investigative team has been completed and that Greenspan continues to be an adviser, consultant and spokesperson to the family.
Sherman, 75, was known for litigiousness and aggressive business practices as he developed Apotex Inc., which had a global workforce of about 11,000. In “Prescription Games,” a 2001 book about the industry, he mused that a rival might want to kill him.
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Barry and Honey Sherman were among Canada’s most generous philanthropists, and their deaths shocked Canadian high society and the country’s Jewish community. The couple made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honor. They hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Liberal Party fundraiser in 2015.
The home where they were found dead in was finally torn down in May, according to CTV News.
Fox News’ Lucia Suarez, Greg Norman, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.