Nearly two weeks after Cooper University Health System chief executive John P. Sheridan Jr. and his wife, Joyce, were found in their home, authorities have released few details about their deaths.
Several days after the fire in the couple's Central New Jersey home, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said it was deliberately set.
Sheridan, 72, and his wife, 69, were found unresponsive in the second-floor master bedroom of their Montgomery Township home early Sept. 28. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and she was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital.
Authorities have not disclosed who they believe set the fire or why, or what led to the deaths of the prominent couple.
Questions about the status of the investigation were not answered in an e-mail exchange with Capt. Jack Bennett, a spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office.
Asked if news would be released Friday, he replied, "Not at this time," without elaborating.
Authorities have said the fire was contained to the second-floor bedroom of the Colonial home in the Skillman section of the township.
The Prosecutor's Office has said the public is not in danger. Bennett did not respond to questions Friday on how investigators reached that conclusion.
No preliminary information has been released on the suspected cause or manner of death. The Prosecutor's Office has said it was awaiting further tests, but provided no specifics.
Somerset County Fire Coordinator Doug Rue said that once the fire was determined to be arson, his role in the investigation was over. He would not comment on what he saw at the home. "I personally know the prosecutor, I know he's very dedicated," Rue said. "Until he makes a statement on what they found, I can't comment."
Mark Sheridan, one of the couple's four sons, declined to comment Friday: "I'm going to wait for the investigation to play itself out."
The delay has fueled speculation as to what led to the deaths. Law enforcement experts said it is difficult to gauge the time needed to complete such an investigation.
"It's very fact-sensitive," said Stephen G. Raymond, a former Burlington County prosecutor who is not involved in the investigation. "I'm sure they're being cautious to make sure they get it right."
Raymond, who now has a private practice, said John Sheridan's high profile makes the case particularly sensitive. Sheridan, a Republican, served under three governors and worked for many years in state government. His wife was a retired history teacher.
Gov. Christie spoke at a memorial service for the Sheridans on Tuesday, attended by hundreds of mourners, in Trenton.
Sheridan joined Cooper in 2005 as a senior executive vice president. He was appointed president and CEO in 2008. He oversaw construction of a $220 million pavilion, and supported partnerships with Camden community organizations and served on numerous boards.