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'Visionary' Animator And Wife Found Dead In Caribbean; Chocolate Mogul Arrested

A U.S. chocolate mogul was arrested following the killings of a Canadian animation entrepreneur and his wife, who were found inside a burned-out car in the Caribbean country of Dominica.

Jonathan Lehrer, owner and operator of chocolate company Bois Collette Inc., was charged with murder on Wednesday in connection to the death of Daniel Langlois and Langlois’ wife, Dominique Marchand.

Daniel Langlois, via Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Daniel Langlois, via Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

Daniel Langlois, via Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

Dominican police reportedly said they discovered Langlois and his wife’s charred remains on Friday morning after the couple had been reported missing.

The couple, who managed the local Coulibri Ridge resort, were reportedly in a yearslong dispute with Lehrer over the utilization of a road that ran through property linked to the U.S. businessman.

Police told Agence France-Presse that the pair were seemingly ambushed before being shot inside their car, which fell into a ravine and caught fire.

Lehrer was taken into custody alongside his wife, an American man named Robert Snider, and a Dominican man. The Dominica Police Force did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification on what role the others may have played in the killing. A lawyer for Lehrer and Snider did not reply to a HuffPost inquiry before publication.

Lehrer’s father told Canada’s Le Journal de Montreal that his son was “not a violent man” and said he had a “hard time believing” that Lehrer took part in the killing, according to translations of his remarks in the French-language outlet.

Langlois founded the company Softimage in 1986, which produced 3D animation software used in award-winning films including “Jurassic Park,” “Titanic,” “Men in Black,” “The Matrix” and “The Fifth Element.”

In statement posted on social media, Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge described Langlois as a “visionary in digital technologies and cinema” whose “legacy reflects his innovative spirit.”

The Daniel Langlois Foundation, a private charity created by Langlois in 1997, said in a statement Monday that it is focused on highlighting the contributions that Langlois and his wife made “to the people of Dominica.”

“Daniel Langlois’s stellar career left a profound influence on contemporary cinema,” the statement read. “The global success of his 3D animation program, SOFTIMAGE, stands as a testament to his visionary leadership.”

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