A US chocolate maker has been charged with the homicide of a millionaire Canadian entrepreneur and his associate, who have been ambushed within the Caribbean by a hitman, in line with authorities.
Daniel Langlois, 66, and Dominique Marchand, each from Quebec, have been discovered lifeless inside a charred car close to the eco-resort they owned in Dominica on Friday.
Langlois is named the founding father of Softimage, which created 3D animations software program for motion pictures like Jurassic Park, Males in Black and Star Wars.
Jonathan Lehrer, 57, has been charged with the Canadian couple’s homicide – together with the alleged hitman, Robert Snider, one other non-national. Lehrer and his spouse personal and function the chocolate maker property Bois Collette Inc, which sdits subsequent to Langlois’ Coulibri Ridge resort.
Langlois and Marchand have been ‘ambushed’ by successful man who killed them after which set their automotive on fireplace, in line with police, who consider the entrepreneur was murdered over a highway dispute with Lehrer.
Daniel Langlois, left, and Dominique Marchand, proper, from Quebec, have been discovered lifeless inside a charred car close to the eco-resort they owned on Dominica
The couple’s neighbors Jonathan Lehrer, seen right here, and his spouse, who personal and function chocolate makers Bois Collette Inc, are being questioned by police
Dominica police mentioned the extreme fireplace within the automotive made figuring out the our bodies unattainable
Langlois and Lehrer had been concerned in a dispute over the utilization of the Morne Rouge Public Highway, which passes by the chocolatier’s property.
The battle reached the island’s state highest courtroom, which dominated in 2019 that the highway was public and may very well be freely utilized by Langlois’ visitors.
In courtroom paperwork from 2019 seen by DailyMail.com, Langlois accused Lehrer of inflicting interference with the unobstructed and free use of the general public highway’ for not less than 4 years.
On one event Lehrer reportedly ‘blocked the highway by putting boulders throughout the highway, digging a trench throughout the mentioned highway, erecting steel pipes and putting tools and provides on the highway denying the claimants and their staff entry to their property’.
An area report from 2018 says a protest was staged on the highway after ‘a land proprietor from Bois Cutlette’ blocked it.
Dominica Information On-line mentioned: ‘The residents, most of whom are staff at Petite Coulibri, have been unable to go safely to get to work, and determined to protest the motion of the land proprietor.’
The Daniel Langlois Basis confirmed on Monday that Langlois and Marchand died ‘in tragic circumstances’.
Nationwide Safety Minister Rayburn Blackmor mentioned: ‘Crimes like this don’t solely harm worldwide relations, however this crime specifically, has despatched shock waves all through the island and left the staff, households, and communities of the victims in mourning.’
Talking to Journal de Montreal (JDM), chocolate tycoon Lehrer’s father Robert dismissed the notion that his son may very well be accountable.
‘Jonathan is a profitable businessman, not a assassin. We’re very shut, and he isn’t a violent man in any respect. I’ve a tough time believing it,’ he mentioned.
Talking of the general public highway dispute between Langlois and Lehrer, Robert additionally informed JDM: ‘He was fed up with unlawful crossings on his route, and it bothered him rather a lot, but it surely had been some time since I had any information.’
A spokesperson for the US Division of State informed the BBC: ‘We’re conscious of reviews of the arrest of a US citizen in Dominica.
‘As a result of privateness concerns, we have now no additional remark presently.’
World Affairs Canada acknowledged the deaths of two Canadian residents on the island however has not named them.
‘Canadian officers proceed to watch the scenario carefully, are partaking with native authorities and offering consular help. As a result of privateness concerns, no additional info may be disclosed,’ the workplace mentioned.
Dominica police mentioned the extreme fireplace within the automotive made figuring out the our bodies unattainable, and they’re counting on ‘circumstantial proof to attach them to the lacking couple’.
A protest on the contested highway between the 2 estates may be seen on this picture from 2019
Dominica native Jacqueline Dupigny informed DailyMail.com the Canadian couple was beloved within the island and can be enormously missed.
She mentioned: ‘The sweetest foreigners to set foot on this island. They have been exemplary stewards of the land round them and to their workers they handled them with a lot respect.’
The entrepreneur offered his software program firm to Microsoft in 1994 for $200 million and went on to discovered the Daniel Langlois Basis for the Artwork, Sciences and Expertise.
In 1997, he obtained a scientific and technical Oscar from the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences
In October final yr he and Marchand opened a luxurious, off-the-grid resort, Coulibri Ridge, on 200 acres of land on the island, which is positioned between Guadeloupe and Martinique.
They reportedly labored on the undertaking for 20 years.
Langlois was a twin Canadian-Dominican citizen. He was beloved in each international locations, with many honoring him on social media following reviews of his dying.
Canada’s minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge wrote: ‘Daniel Langlois, a visionary in digital applied sciences and cinema, has left us. His legacy displays his revolutionary spirit. My ideas are along with his family members.’
The Quebec natives have been devoted to their sustainable undertaking in Dominica
In October 2022 the couple opened a luxurious, off-the-grid resort, Coulibri Ridge, on 200 acres of land on the island
Journey author Jim Byers wrote on X: ‘Shocked and devastated to listen to the information of the deaths of Canadian businessman/visionary Daniel Langlois and his spouse, Dominique Marchand. They constructed the unbelievable Coulibri Ridge resort on Dominica and had me for a tour and lunch in January. So unhappy.’
And fan Paul Chato added: ‘Daniel Langlois has been discovered lifeless. For individuals who are 3D animators, Langlois pioneered SoftImage 3D, essentially the most superior character animation software program of its time. Reboot was produced with it as was the dinosaur in Jurassic Park. Unhappy.’
On November 3, the federal government of Dominica gave Langlois a ‘Meritorious Service Award for his contributions to sustainable improvement and analysis initiatives,’ as reported by Dominica Information On-line.
The Daniel Langlois Basis mentioned Mr Langlois’ ‘stellar profession left a profound affect on modern cinema’.
Langlois and Marchand performed an necessary function locally, in line with Soufriere village politician Denise Charles-Pemberton, who informed a state-owned radio channel: ‘These previous few days have been extremely heavy for our constituency.
‘To lose two members of our neighborhood, who’ve been on the coronary heart of its improvement and its sense of spirit and togetherness is one thing that we have now struggled to place into phrases.
‘Daniel and Dominique could also be recognized for his or her world-renowned eco-resort within the village however to the individuals of the Soufriere constituency and to me, they have been variety, loving and really neighborhood oriented.’
DailyMail.com has approached police in Dominica for additional touch upon the case.