Suspicious Deaths of Billionaire Canada Couple Investigated

Apotex Chairman and CEO Barry Sherman. GETTY IMAGES  The Toronto Star  Dick Loek
Apotex Chairman and CEO Barry Sherman. GETTY IMAGES The Toronto Star Dick Loek

17 December, 2017

Investigators are awaiting the results of autopsies performed on Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife before determining the next steps in the ongoing probe into their suspicious deaths.

Police said they learned of the deaths after responding to a midday (1700 GMT) medical call at the Sherman's home in an affluent section of northeast Toronto.

"The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way", said police Constable David Hopkinson.

"Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Along the way he amassed a vast fortune, recently estimated by Canadian Business magazine at $4.77 billion, making him the 15th richest person in the country.

A real estate agent discovered the bodies in the basement while preparing for an open house, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, citing a relative.

Sherman stepped down as chief executive in 2012 but remained Apotex's executive chairman.

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Sherman founded pharmaceutical firm Apotex, and was worth more than $3 billion, according to Forbes.

In a statement, Mayor Tory said he was "shocked and heartbroken" to learn of the deaths, and noted the couple's generous contributions to the city.

Hopkinson said the deaths are not now being treated as homicides, adding that more investigation will be necessary. Neighbours confirmed that the property was the couple's home.

The couple were well known philanthropists and active on the political scene.

Honey, who also graduated from the University of Toronto, was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation. "Whether it was education, health care or community centres she was at the centre of raising money and giving money", he said.

"I am gutted by the loss of Honey and Barry Sherman".

In response to the news of their deaths, Mr Trudeau tweeted: "Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit". "A very, very sad day", he wrote.

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