A prominent Minnesota businessman and his ailing, wheelchair-bound wife have been found dead inside their sprawling mansion in what a friend of the couple described as a murder-suicide.
According to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, officers responded to Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs’s Tanager Hill estate at 1700 Shoreline Drive in Orono shortly after 8.30am and discovered the bodies of a man and a woman in a bedroom.
Dennis Mathisen, a close friend of the family, confirmed to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the deceased were the Jacobs.
According to Mathisen, Irwin fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. He was 77 years old.
The couple were reportedly found lying in a bed a next to a handgun.
Police responded to the Jacobs family's 32-acre estate on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, and found Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs dead in a bed next to a handgun
Alexandra and Irwin had lived in this 13,000-square-foot home in Orono for more than four decades
The friend said he learned of the deaths and Irwin Jacobs' role in the murder-suicide from the man’s grown son, Mark.
Police have not officially identified the deceased, but said there is no risk to the public and that no suspect is being sought in their deaths.
Mathisen revealed to the paper that Alexandra Jacobs had been confined to a wheelchair for the past year and was showing signs of dementia, and that her husband was distraught over the state of her health.
Irwin L. Jacobs is pictured with his wife Alexandra and their three daughters
When Mathisen last spoke to his friend three days before the tragedy, he said Irwin Jacobs sounded upbeat.
Jacobs built his considerable wealth by buying, breaking up and selling failing companies for profit, earning him the moniker 'Irv the Liquidator' during the 1970s and 80s.
Over the years, he served as CEO of several large corporations, including the now-bankrupt US boat-building giant Genmar Holdings.
The family friend said Jacobs (pictured in 2000) was distraught over the health of his wife of 57 years, who was showing signs of dementia
Jacobs, pictured in 2013, at one time planned to downsize and put his mansion on the market, but ultimately changed his mind
In the 1980s, Jacobs owned a minority share of the Minnesota Vikings, which he sold in 1991.
At the time of his death, Jacobs' portfolio included the household goods company JR Watkins Co, Jacobs Trading Co, and a host of other companies, among them multiple boat manufacturers.
His son Mark, a graduate of Brown University, has served as CEO of Watkins Co since 1998.
Irwin's son Mark Jacobs (pictured) reportedly told the family friend of his parents' murder-suicide
He and Alexandra, who was an artist, had been married for 57 years and raised five children together. Their daughter Sheila has cerebral palsy and the Jacobses were said to have been major donors to the Special Olympics.
In 2014, the family put their rambling hilltop estate on the market with a listing price of $22million, making it the second most expensive listing in the Twin Cities area at the time.
The 32-acre property features a 13,000-square-foot main house, a guesthouse, a pool house and other structures.
Speaking to the Star Tribune about his desire to downsize, Jacobs said of his six-bedroom, 10-bath abode that he had owned for more than 4 decades: ‘I really thought I'd die here, but I didn't want to burden my wife if something happened to me.'
Jacobs ultimately took the house off the market.