Two years after Canadian pharmaceutical tycoon Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead at their luxury home in "targeted" killings, Toronto's chief homicide detective on Monday made a fresh appeal for public help to solve the mystery murders.

Inspector Hank Idsinga told reporters that a private investigation, begun by the Sherman family, had ended, but police are continuing their own probe.

Sherman, 75, was chairman of global generic drug supplier Apotex.

His body, along with that of Honey Sherman, 70, was found at their house in a tony Toronto neighborhood on December 15, 2017.

"The family and police urge anyone who has reliable information regarding the murders, no matter how small or unimportant that information may seem, to please contact the police through their usual channels," Idsinga said.

Police had initially suspected a murder-suicide. The clothed bodies were discovered hanging, partly sitting, by a pool in the basement of the home.

An autopsy concluded they died from strangulation.

Investigators later ruled both deaths "targeted" homicides -- after the private investigation concluded the couple were murdered.

The Shermans' children had strongly refuted the early police suspicion and hired one of Canada's most celebrated criminal defense lawyers, Brian Greenspan, who recruited the private investigators to help.

A forensic pathologist also performed a separate autopsy.

The pathologist and private investigators, who included former homicide squad members, found markings on the victims' wrists indicating that their hands had been tied with cords or plastic zip ties.

Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were murdered in 2017, the year he was pictured in this promotional video from his pharmaceutical firm Apotex
Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were murdered in 2017, the year he was pictured in this promotional video from his pharmaceutical firm Apotex APOTEX /

When the bodies were discovered, however, the wrists were untied, without rope or cords nearby.

Greenspan said the couple's bodies were "staged."

On Monday, Idsinga acknowledged the cooperation of the Sherman family, who were not present at the press conference.

But in a statement issued with the police, they said private investigators received more than 340 tips that they forwarded to police, who separately received 205 other tips and interviewed in excess of 240 witnesses.

Idsinga gave no further details on where the investigation is headed.

Surveillance video showed no sign of forced entry at the home, which was up for sale at a price of Can$7 million (US$5.3 million).

A real estate agent found the bodies of the couple, whose fortune has been estimated at $3.6 billion.

In October 2018 the Sherman family announced a $7.6 million reward for any leads.

Sherman founded Apotex in 1974, and over the following decades became known as a litigious businessman who shunned the limelight while revolutionizing the drug industry in Canada.

Today, the company employs more than 11,000 people and sells 300 generic drugs in 120 countries.