Friends and family of a New Jersey hospital executive who, along with his wife, was found dead in his home in 2014, are asking the state attorney general to open a new investigation into the deaths.
The bodies of Cooper Health System CEO John Sheridan and his wife were found in the bedroom of their home in Montgomery Township, N.J., on Sept. 28, 2014. A county prosecutor concluded that Sheridan stabbed his wife to death, then stabbed himself multiple times and set the bedroom on fire.
Nearly 200 friends and business associates, including three former New Jersey governors, signed the letter (PDF), which also asks that John Sheridan's official cause of death be changed from suicide to undetermined.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she suspects the Sheridans were murdered. Jim Weinstein, the former transportation commissioner of New Jersey who served under Sheridan at the state's transit agency, believes the Sheridans were killed by an intruder or intruders.
The Sheridans' four sons alleged in March that county investigators closed the case prematurely to hide incompetence by investigators and a state medical examiner. In April, the Sheridan family said they would offer a $250,000 reward for information that leads to arrests.
The family filed an administrative petition on Dec. 18 with the New Jersey Office of the Medical Examiner, acting Attorney General John Hoffman and prosecutors to change the cause of death, according to the Inquirer.
A second autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Michael Baden at the request of the Sheridan family found that the weapon tied to Sheridan's stab wounds was never recovered, and that Sheridan's death was most likely a homicide, the Inquirer reported.
At the time of the deaths, investigators found no signs of mental illness or trouble in the Sheridans' 47-year marriage. Authorities concluded that work pressures may have caused John Sheridan to break down, according to the article.
The Inquirer for years has been investigating corruption at the system, which is anchored by a 493-bed hospital in Camden.
Sheridan was at the helm when the state released a report (PDF) that found that among New Jersey's 18 hospitals, Cooper had the highest mortality rate when it came to coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
But trouble at the hospital goes back before Sheridan's tenure. In 2013, Cooper Health paid $12.6 million to resolve false claims allegations.
Previously, seven people, including the hospital system's chief financial officer, were found guilty of participating in an embezzlement scheme that cost the hospital more than $21 million.
Sheridan isn't the only recent hospital system CEO death garnering attention. Broward Health CEO Dr. Nabil El Sanadi shot himself in January in the lobby bathroom of his condo in Florida. In the days after his suicide, there was speculation El Sanadi had become depressed after undergoing triple-bypass surgery.
In a wrinkle to that story, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Broward is now being investigated by the FBI for corruption after evidence was gathered by an investigator hired by El Sanadi before his death.