- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) - A group that includes three former New Jersey governors called on authorities in a letter Wednesday to reopen the investigation into the deaths of a prominent couple that was ruled a murder-suicide.

The Friends of John & Joyce Sheridan also said that “at a minimum,” the manner of John Sheridan’s death be changed from suicide to undetermined.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office determined that John Sheridan, former president and CEO of Cooper Health System, killed his wife and took his own life in September 2014.The prosecutor’s office concluded that John Sheridan stabbed his wife, stabbed himself and set their bedroom on fire.

But the group of “nearly 200 prominent New Jerseyans” questioned the office’s conclusion and says it supports efforts by the couple’s four adult sons to overturn the findings.

The letter referred to the deaths as murders, but didn’t offer an alternative explanation for the Sheridans’ deaths.

“The only truth in this terrible tragedy is that no one knows what happened on that September morning - not us, not the medical examiner, not the prosecutor,” the letter said.

The letter was penned by Jim Weinstein, New Jersey’s former transportation commissioner, and Dennis Culnan, a public relations consultant. Its signatories included former governors Thomas Kean, James Florio and Christine Todd Whitman.

The county prosecutor couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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