Deaths of Toronto billionaire philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife called “suspicious”

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Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead in their mansion Friday afternoon, CNN affiliate CTV reports.

The Toronto Police Service is investigating the deaths as “suspicious.”

On Sunday police released a statement saying autopsies determined that the cause of death for both Barry and Honey Sherman was “ligature neck compressions.” The police statement did not elaborate beyond that wording.

During a press conference Friday, Constable David Hopkinson said police, fire units and ambulance responded to a “medical complaint” just before noon on Friday.

Ontario politicians who spoke out on social media said the deceased were generous philanthropists.

Minister of Health Dr. Eric Hoskins tweeted: “I am beyond words right now. My dear friends Barry and Honey Sherman have been found dead. Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day. Barry, Honey, rest in peace.”

Minister of Economic Development Brad Duguid also expressed his condolences on Twitter. “Deeply shocked & saddened to hear of the deaths of Barry & Honey Sherman. Philanthropists and entrepreneurs who made our province a better place to live.”

Hopkinson said that there are no concerns for the public’s safety.

“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” he said.

According to CTV, Sherman was the chairman of generic drugmaker Apotex, which he founded in 1974. Apotex went on to become the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company.

Jordan Berman, global director of corporate communications for Apotex, called the news of the deaths “tragic.”

“All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” Berman said in a statement to CNN.

Constable Hopkinson said that the investigation was still in its early stages and the deaths were not being treated as homicides.

“This is just a suspicious death. We are only investigating that as such right now. If it is determined to be a homicide, then our investigators from homicide will come in.”

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