American chocolatier among 2 charged in killings of Canadian tycoon, wife on Caribbean island

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Sunday, December 10, 2023
Chocolatier among 2 Americans facing murder charges in the Caribbean
Jonathan Lehrer is among two people charged in the alleged Dominica murders of Daniel Langlois and Dominique Marchand.

A murder investigation unfolded on the picturesque Caribbean island of Dominica on Sunday morning.

Two American men, including chocolatier Jonathan Lehrer, are behind bars in connection with the deaths of wealthy Canadian businessman Daniel Langlois and his partner, Dominique Marchand.

Their bodies were discovered in a burnt car last week, not far from the resort that they owned.

"At the conclusion of the investigations, two individuals were charged for the murder. Investigations are still ongoing as we speak," said Jeoffrey James with the Dominica Police Force.

Local media cited court documents, saying the killings may be connected to a years-long dispute between Lehrer and Langlois over a public road running through their adjacent properties. Police have not confirmed that or released a motive.

The two victims had lived on the island for more than 20 years, and they ran a luxury eco-resort once listed as a "hotlist" destination for travelers.

According to Lehrer's website, the estate he owned was one of the oldest in Dominica, producing cocoa and coffee beans and even running public tours.

The suspects' defense attorney told ABC News, in a statement, "We live in a democracy, where anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty."

The Daniel Langlois Foundation announced his death, saying he was also the founder of Softimage. The company's technology helped create the 3D effects in Hollywood blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, Titanic, and The Matrix.

On Thursday, hundreds attended a sunset vigil in memory of the victims.

"They were just the sweetest, most gentle couple. For us to lose this ray of sunshine is, it's devastating," said Simon Walsh.