This Canadian billionaire and his wife were found dead in the basement of their mansion -- and police are treating it as 'suspicious'

  • Canadian pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, were found dead at their Toronto mansion on Friday.
  • Police are treating the death as suspicious,but said there was no sign of forced entry.
  • They had recently put their $US5.4 million (£4 million) house up for sale and their bodies were discovered by a real estate agent in a basement.

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Canadian billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, at their mansion in Toronto.

Sherman is the founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc and has an estimated net worth of $US3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

He and his wife’s body were discovered in the basement of their home by a real estate agent on Friday, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported. They had recently put the property up for sale for $US5.4 million (£4 million).

Police are treating their deaths as suspicious. Two bodies covered in blankets were removed from the home and loaded into an unmarked van on Friday evening.

“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” said Constable David Hopkinson. Homicide detectives told reporters gathered outside the home that there were no signs of forced entry.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted about Sherman’s death:

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in statement he was “shocked and heartbroken” to learn of the deaths, noting that the couple had made extensive contributions to the city.

“Toronto Police are investigating, and I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss,” Tory said.

Mansion for sale

The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for nearly C$7 million ($US5.4 million). 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.

Barry ShermanFacebook/Harvey KallesThe listing for Barry Sherman’s mansion.

The property was still listed online more than 20 hours after the couple were found dead. It was being sold by high-end real estate agent Harvey Kalles.

Toronto Police Service constable David Hopkinson, who briefed the press about the deaths on Friday, said it had been a late night.

He tweeted: “Morning everyone! It was a late one last night. I’m back at @TPSOperations. Let’s see what today brings……buckle up ppl!”

Building a pharma giant

Sherman, 75, founded privately held Apotex in 1974, growing it by introducing large numbers of low-cost generic drugs that took market share from branded pharmaceuticals. He stepped down as chief executive in 2012 but remained executive chairman.

Apotex is the world’s No. 7 generic drugmaker with 11,000 employees and annual sales of more than C$2 billion in more than 45 countries, according to its website.

The couple was known for their philanthropy, giving tens of millions of dollars to hospitals, universities and Jewish organisations, CBC reported.

“They were extremely successful in business, but also very, very giving people,” former Ontario Premier Bob Rae told CBC. “It’s going to be a very, very big loss.”

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