The family of Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, are criticizing reports speculating about the cause of the couple’s deaths ahead of the release of autopsy findings..
In a statement released Saturday, the family said “our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumours regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths.”
“We are shocked and think it’s irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true,” the statement continued.
CBC News has not reported on any unverified details about what led to their deaths. Autopsies were taking place on Saturday.
The Sherman family statement called for a thorough and objective investigation by police and requested that media not report further on any cause of death until the investigation is complete.
Makeshift memorial set up outside home
The comments come one day after the noted philanthropist couple were found dead inside their Toronto home.
The snow-covered lot on Old Colony Road outside their home became the site of a memorial Saturday, as investigators await the results of autopsies being performed on their bodies.
Flowers and police tape could be seen outside the home, from which their bodies were removed on stretchers Friday evening.
Emergency crews were called to the home at 50 Old Colony Rd. in the Bayview Avenue and Highway 401 area around 11:45 a.m. ET Friday for reports of a medical emergency, where Toronto police say a male and a female were pronounced dead on the scene.
On Saturday, police remained tight-lipped about the investigation, reiterating that while the deaths are considered “suspicious,” they are not yet being treated as homicide.
Trying to ‘determine if there is foul play’
Speaking to reporters Friday night, Det. Brandon Price told reporters investigators are still trying to “determine if there is foul play involved or not. And at this point we cannot say 100 per cent with certainty if there is or there is not.”
Price did confirm there were no signs of forced entry into the home and that police are not searching for any outstanding suspects.
Police said Saturday they hoped to receive the results of the autopsies later in the day.
Meanwhile, officers are interviewing the Shermans’ neighbours. A number of police vehicles were parked outside the mansion on Saturday.
Two people found dead in the home of a Canadian pharmaceutical executive Friday have been confirmed, by the company, to be Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey. (CBC)
On Saturday, Const. David Hopkinson told CBC News police will combine the autopsy results with the findings of their investigation before coming to a conclusion about what happened.
Police have yet to confirm the victims’ identities. However, the pharmaceutical giant Apotex released a statement Friday confirming its founder, Bernard (Barry) Sherman and his wife were deceased.
Police have also not commented on where the pair were found in the house, whether a weapon was recovered, whether the bodies showed signs of trauma or when the Shermans were last seen alive.
Toronto police received a call at 11:45 a.m. ET Friday about a ‘medical complaint’ at 50 Old Colony Rd. in North York, Ont. Two bodies were found in the home. (Barry Smith/CBC)
“We are poring over the evidence,” Hopkinson said.
Outpouring of grief
If the autopsies indicate that a homicide has occurred, the police’s homicide squad will take over the investigation and detectives will talk to family members before they update the public, he said.
If the autopsies indicate that the deaths were not criminal in nature, police will likely not provide an update to the public on the case, he added.
Right now 6 police vehicles are parked outside the mansion owned by Barry and Honey Sherman. Two bodies were found inside the home yesterday. Autopsies are being done today. pic.twitter.com/XBzCU9vBaB
Meanwhile, news of the deaths has prompted out outpouring of grief from neighbours, friends, family, politicians and the business community alike.
Tilak Malwatta was one of those who went to the Shermans’ home Saturday to pay his respects.
With flowers in hand and tears in his eyes, the 28-year-old Apotex distribution employee said he felt it was important to come to express his admiration and sympathies for the Shermans.
“He’s a wonderful man,” Malwatta said of the Apotex founder. “What he’s done for the country, society and community.… This is very, very sad. I give my deepest sympathies and condolences for the family.”
Apotex employee Tilak Malwatta went to the Shermans home Saturday to pay his respects. (CBC)