Fire at NJ home where hospital CEO, wife were found dead was arson: prosecutors

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2014 4:42 PM

(Reuters) - New Jersey investigators have determined that a weekend fire in the home where a New Jersey hospital chief executive and his wife were found dead was arson, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said on Wednesday.

The blaze was started in the second-floor bedroom of the Montgomery Township home of John Sheridan Jr., 72, the CEO and president of Cooper University Health System, and his wife Joyce, 69, said prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. The couple were found unresponsive in the bedroom early Sunday.

"Investigators assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Arson Task Force have determined that the fire was intentionally set within the master bedroom," Soriano said in a press release.

The cause of death is under investigation, and laboratory results are still pending, the prosecutor said.

He said Sheridan was pronounced dead at the scene and his wife was pronounced dead at Princeton Medical Center.

Sheridan joined Cooper in 2005 and became president and chief executive in 2008, the statement said.

Sheridan also had a long career in New Jersey state government, serving as transportation commissioner to former Governor Thomas Kean and on the transition team for the current governor, Chris Christie, both Republicans.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)