The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is investigating the 2014 deaths of a New Jersey couple, including the president of a major hospital, after public criticism from their family over the way the case was initially handled.
John and Joyce Sheridan were discovered dead inside their Skillman home in the early morning hours of Sept. 28, 2014. A medical examiner initially ruled Joyce’s death a homicide and John’s a suicide, but changed the ruling regarding the manner of John’s death years later to "undetermined."
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the New Jersey A.G.’s office said in an email to Fox News Digital that the agency was investigating the matter and would "follow the evidence wherever it leads."
The spokesperson would not respond to questions regarding when and why the investigation was opened, but the decision to do so comes in the wake of a local WNYC Studios podcast exploring the circumstances of their deaths.
Police and firefighters received a call just before 6:15 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2014, for a report of a fire at the couple’s Somerset County home. They arrived to find the fire had erupted only in an upstairs bedroom, where officers discovered John and Joyce unresponsive inside.
John was pronounced dead, and Joyce was rushed to an area hospital, but could not be saved.
Joyce Sheridan, 69, was a high school teacher before she had retired, according to a previous Associated Press report. And prior to his death, 72-year-old John Sheridan served as president and CEO of Cooper University Health Care in Camden, New Jersey. He had previously spent years in state government, including working with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s transition team, serving as a commissioner for New Jersey Department of Transportation, general counsel for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and deputy attorney general, according to reports from the time of his death.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office announced six months after their deaths that John Sheridan killed Joyce and then himself, according to an Associated Press report from April 2015.
But the Sheridans’ four sons have been outspokenly skeptical about the office’s conclusion, and further accused investigators of trying to mold the evidence to fit their theory.
One of their grown children, attorney Mark Sheridan, has long questioned the details regarding the murder weapon used, as well as alleged errors in the autopsy report.
Mark Sheridan asked county and state officials in January of this year to further investigate a similar death to see if it had any link to his parents’, NorthJersey.com reported at the time.
"Our suggestion really wasn't so crazy, and they really should look at this anew," Sheridan told the news site. "We've asked them repeatedly to reopen the case, to do something. And for seven years, they've done nothing. So I'm not holding my breath for the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office or attorney general to step up at this point."