Private investigators looking into the deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman have concluded that the billionaire philanthropist couple was murdered, a new report says.

The Toronto Star reported on Friday night that the evidence obtained by a team of former homicide detectives hired by the Sherman family determined that the pair were the victims of a double murder, not a murder-suicide.

Barry Sherman, 75, and his wife Honey Sherman, 70, were found dead in their North York mansion on Dec. 15.

An autopsy found the couple both died of “ligature neck compression,” but police have released few other details regarding the investigation.

Speaking with CP24 on Friday, The Star’s chief investigative reporter Kevin Donovan said he believes a lot of Torontonians believed this was a double murder “all along.”

“(The family) did not believe that their father would kill their mother and then they went and hired some professionals who looked at it and in The Toronto Star story that we’ve broken tonight, some of the new information that’s being revealed relates to marks found on their wrists indicating that their hands were bound,” he said.

The Star’s report noted that there were no ropes or other ties found at the scene, but men’s leather belts were tied around the couple’s necks.

“Toxicology reports show that no drugs were in their bodies that would contribute to their deaths and some of the words being used by people describing the scene was almost a tableau that was staged to look like something it was not,” Donovan said.

The initial theory of a possible murder-suicide was reported by multiple media outlets citing police sources.

The theory prompted the Sherman family to hire lawyer Brian Greenspan and former chief forensic pathologist for Ontario Dr. David Chiasson to conduct a private investigation.

Toronto police are conducting a separate investigation into the couple’s deaths, but their findings have not yet been released.

Officers said they are not providing any new information or comment at this time.

“I think what the family would like is for the Toronto police to give an update in front of the camera and say exactly what they think the case is, whether they still think it’s murder-suicide or, as the family thinks, a double homicide,” Donovan said.

Toronto police have been at the family’s home since the couple was found dead continuing to investigate.

Barry Sherman was the founder of Toronto-based Apotex Inc. in 1974. Honey Sherman was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation. She was on the board of Mount Sinai’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the International American Joint Distribution Committee.

The couple was among Canada’s top philanthropists who made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, school and charities.