December 16, 2019 / 5:58 PM / 4 months ago

Private detective investigation of Canadian billionaire couple's death complete: police

TORONTO (Reuters) - The investigation into the deaths of a Canadian pharmaceutical billionaire couple by a private detective hired by the victims’ family has been completed, the chief homicide investigator of the Toronto police and the family said in a joint statement on Monday without revealing any of its findings.

FILE PHOTO: Flowers from mourners are seen 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/File Photo

Police reiterated on Monday that they are treating the case of Barry and Honey Sherman as a targeted double murder, Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga told reporters. He called on the public to come forward with tips as the investigation headed by police continues.

Sherman was 75 and his wife, 70 at the time of their deaths, which stunned the worlds of Canadian business, politics and philanthropy, and drew public condolences from prominent figures including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The case is “very active” Idsinga said, but he declined to provide any details of how the investigation is going or what information they have, aside from saying “we’re still combing through a lot of information.”

The private investigator’s report is being transferred to police. The Sherman family was not present at the briefing.

The Shermans were found hanging by belts from a railing next to a swimming pool at their Toronto mansion in late 2017, police have said.

Barry Sherman founded Apotex in 1974 and turned it into one of the largest generic drugmakers, earning a reputation for using lawsuits to gain access to sell cheaper generic versions of lucrative branded medicines.

He and his wife were known for their donations to hospitals, universities and Jewish organizations.

The Sherman family has criticized police handling of the deaths and hired a private investigator of their own to look into the case.

Unconfirmed media reports in the immediate wake of the deaths said that police were treating the case as a murder-suicide.

Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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