THE neighbor of a Canadian tech entrepreneur, who was found dead in a charred vehicle last week, has been detained for questioning years after the two resort owners were locked in a legal dispute.
The remains of Daniel Langlois, 66, and his partner Dominique Marchand were discovered on Friday inside a burned-out vehicle in Dominica.
The Canadian couple had been visiting their Coulibri Ridge Eco resort and were missing for several days.
As of Monday, four individuals had been taken into police custody regarding the deaths, according to CTV News.
Dominica Minister of Justice, Immigration, and National Security Rayburn Blackmoore has confirmed that three of the individuals are “non-nationals” while the fourth person is from Dominica.
One of these people in custody is reportedly Jonathan Lehrer, who owns and operates Bois Collette Inc. — a nearby estate and resort.
Lehrer and his wife have not been charged with any crimes.
Just five years ago, Lehrer and Langlois were embroiled in a months-long legal battle over access to a road that runs through Lehrer’s property.
The dispute over Morne Rouge Public Road began after Langlois claimed Lehrer would regularly cause interference by obstructing access to the road over the course of four to five years.
Specifically, the Quebec Canadian claimed his neighbor would place boulders along the road, dig trenches, erect metal pipes, and lay other equipment and supplies across the road.
Langlois argued the road was public and that his employees and guests should be allowed to freely access it.
In 2019, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Canadian, saying Lehrer and his team were prohibited from preventing Langlois and his employees and guests from accessing the road.
The court did encourage Lehrer to allow a duly qualified engineer to review an alternative route.
The Daniel Langlois Foundation confirmed the Canadian’s death on Monday.
“Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand died in tragic circumstances on December 1, 2023 in Dominica near their Coulibri Ridge resort,” the foundation said.
Locals have indicated that the couple will be sorely missed, with one Dominica resident telling the Daily Mail the resort owners were loved on the island.
“The sweetest foreigners to set foot on this island. They were exemplary stewards of the land around them and to their staff they treated them with so much respect,” local Jacqueline Dupigny said.
Blackmoore has also said Langlois and Marchand’s deaths have sent shock waves through the region, leaving many employees, families and communities in mourning.
The Daniel Langlois Foundation has said his Coulibri Ridge resort was a part of Langlois research efforts for projects in industrial sectors like hospitality.
The tech executive is also the founder of Softimage, an animation film company behind 3D animation software for films like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Titanic.
In 1994, Langlois sold the company to Microsoft for approximately $200 million.
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