Autopsies underway for Canadian billionaires found dead


Canadian police said they were investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday. A police detective, Brandon Price, described the deaths only as "suspicious".

Sherman was the chairman of generic drug maker Apotex.

In a statement, Apotex confirmed the Shermans had been killed: "We've been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman".

His fortune was recently estimated to be $4.77 billion by Canadian Business magazine, making him the 15th richest person in Canada.

Toronto police said on Twitter that "two people (were) found deceased in a home" in the Bayview Avenue and Old Colony Road area, after officers responded to a medical call around noon on Friday.

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

Police said homicide investigators are involved in the case, though the deaths have not officially been classified as homicides.

The couple had recently put their luxury home up for sale and their bodies were found by an estate agent who was at the property to prepare it for an open-house viewing, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, citing a family member.

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Sherman's wife, Honey, was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation.

Investigators are still attempting to "determine if there is foul play involved or not", Detective Brandon Price told reporters, "and at this point we can not say 100% with certainty if there is or there is not".

The couple were known as generous donors to Toronto Jewish organizations.

Apotex released a statement on Saturday paying tribute to its founder, praising both his philanthropic efforts and what it described as his vision for health care. "Barry, Honey, rest in peace". He grew the company through the introduction of large numbers of generic, low-costing drugs that were able to take market share away from the branded pharmaceuticals.

A University of Toronto website lists the Apotex Foundation and the Shermans as donors in the range of $10 million to $25 million during 1995 and 2003. "I am heartbroken", she said.

Sherman has also been an active philanthropist, including donating $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal.

They are survived by their four children, including one who just gave them a grandchild.

Homicide detective Brandon Price said: "At this point we are not now seeking a suspect".