New Jersey

Cooper CEO, Wife Violently Stabbed Before Fire: Report

The CEO of a South Jersey hospital and his wife, were violently stabbed before their bedroom was set on fire, a family member tells The Courier-Post newspaper.

John Sheridan, Jr., the head of Cooper University Health System, and his wife, Joyce, were found unresponsive in the bedroom of their Montgomery Township, N.J. home on Sept. 28. The 72-year-old husband was pronounced dead at the scene. Joyce, 69, was taken to a nearby hospital and later died.

Investigators had said the fire was deliberately set, but have not released an exact cause of death. Officials have said the public was not at risk. Prosecutors have also said the four sons are not suspects in their parents' deaths.

On Tuesday, a family member, who was not named in the report, told the paper Joyce Sheridan was stabbed eight or more times in a violent attack.

John Sheridan, Jr. had "tentative" stab wounds on his side and an unspecified penetrating wound in his neck that may have hit his jugular vein, according to the report. He was found beneath an armoire that was doused with gas and set on fire, the paper reported.

Two knives were recovered at the scene — one in the bedroom and another in a different location on the property, the report stated.

The family member did not say who might have been behind the stabbing.

NBC10 reached out to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, but we have not received a response.

In a joint statement, the couple's four sons said they would not be commenting until the investigation is finished.

"From the beginning we have said that no one wants answers about our parents' deaths more than us. Real answers will only come after a full and thorough investigation," the statement read. "We do not condone releasing information in a piecemeal fashion because of frustration with the process, it is not helpful to getting to the truth about what happened to our parents. We are committed to getting to the truth and that means we will not comment while the investigation is ongoing."

The family has hired a private investigator to launch an independent probe into the deaths.

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