Canadian entrepreneur and partner found dead in Dominica

By Mike Wendling,BBC News

Daniel Langlois Foundation Daniel LangloisDaniel Langlois Foundation

Daniel Langlois was a pioneering animator

Canadian entrepreneur Daniel Langlois and his partner were found dead in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica under suspicious circumstances.

The bodies of Mr. Langlois and Dominique Marchand were discovered on Friday, apparently in a burned vehicle.

The couple had been missing for a day from an eco-resort they owned on the island.

Mr. Langlois founded Softimage, an animation software company whose products have been used in major blockbuster films.

Three foreign nationals and a Dominican were arrested following the incident, according to Dominica News Online, which cited Dominica’s Minister of National Security and Legal Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore.

“This type of terrible crime and the brutality of this crime is something that we cannot ignore and we cannot allow those responsible to go unpunished,” the minister said, according to Dominican media.

The BBC has contacted the Dominican National Police for comment.

Responding to reports that one of the four people questioned by police was a US citizen, a US State Department spokesperson told the BBC: “We are aware of reports of the arrest from a US citizen to Dominica.

“For privacy reasons, we have no further comment at this time.”

Little information was available on these deaths.

The Daniel Langlois Foundation, a philanthropic organization created by the entrepreneur in 1997, said in a statement on Monday that the couple “died in tragic circumstances” on December 1.

“In the weeks and months to come, details of the exact circumstances of their deaths will be revealed as Dominican police and judicial authorities conduct the investigation,” the statement said.

The foundation said Mr. Langlois’s “brilliant career has left a profound influence on contemporary cinema.”

Mr. Langlois worked as a director and animator in the Canadian province of Quebec before founding Softimage in the 1980s. His 3D animation software has been used in the production of major blockbuster films including Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Titanic.

In 1994, the company was sold to Microsoft for $130 million (£85 million).

Three years after this sale, Mr. Langlois shared an Oscar in the scientific and technical category for Softimage animation components.

He maintained his involvement in the arts and film industries, notably as president of the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, an independent film festival in Montreal.

Most recently, Mr. Langlois and Ms. Marchand ran an eco-resort, Coulibri Ridge, in Dominica and created the Resilient Dominica Project to help the island after Hurricane Maria, which killed 65 people and devastated the local economy .

Coulibri Crest Coulibri CrestCoulibri Ridge

The couple owned an eco-resort, Coulibri Ridge

Ms. Marchand worked with an animal charity, the Humane Society of Dominica, the foundation said.

In a message on X, formerly Twitter, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, described Mr. Langlois as a “visionary of digital technologies and cinema”.

“His legacy reflects his innovative spirit. My thoughts are with his loved ones,” he wrote.

Zera Carpenter

"Typical thinker. Unapologetic alcoholaholic. Internet fanatic. Pop culture advocate. Tv junkie."

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