Deaths of billionaire couple investigated as double homicide

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.

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Death investigation of billionaire couple -- Barry and Honey Sherman
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Death investigation of billionaire couple -- Barry and Honey Sherman
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15: TPS Constable David Hopkinson briefs the media outside the house. Two people have been found dead inside the North York mansion of Apotext Inc founder. Some reports have the dead as Barry Sherman and wife Honey . (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
A For Sale sign stands outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
A police forensics photographer works outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
A police forensics photographer works outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
A police forensics photographer works outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
Mourners place flowers outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious", in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
Police officers gather while canvassing neighbors for information, outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
Police outside of the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead in their home under circumstances that police described as "suspicious" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 20: Homes in the neighbourhood near the Old Colony property owned by Barry and Honey Sherman. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER, 21 Thousands came out to the International Centre for the memorial for billionaires Honey and Barry Sherman. The two were found dead in their Toronto home last week under mysterious circumstances. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- DECEMBER 21 - Sherman Funeral The hearses of Honey and Barry Sherman leave the memorial at International Center in Toronto.December 21, 2017. Rene Johnston/Toronto Star (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- DECEMBER 21 - Sherman Funeral Thousands of chairs set up for the public to pay their respects to Honey and Barry Sherman at International Center in Toronto. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 20: Homes in the neighbourhood near the Old Colony property owned by Barry and Honey Sherman. Toronto Star/Rick Madonik Rick Madonik/Toronto Star (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15: Two people have been found dead inside the North York mansion of Apotext Inc founder. Some reports have the dead as Barry Sherman and wife Honey . (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15: A woman who said she worked at Apotext, is escorted from the house after she went past the police tape to drop off flowers. Two people have been found dead inside the North York mansion of Apotext Inc founder. Some reports have the dead as Barry Sherman and wife Honey . (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO- DECEMBER 18: Forensic investigators continued their activities at 50 Old Colony Road following the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. Flowers have been placed outside of the billionaires house that remains fenced with police tape. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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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 the 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.

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.

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.”

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