The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office told The Blast Thursday that Sherk, 43, died from anoxic encephalopathy, a condition where brain tissue is cut off from oxygen, leading to a loss of brain function. Her death was ruled a suicide, with asphyxia and drowning listed as contributing causes of death.
Sherk was found at the bottom of her family's swimming pool on April 12. Her autopsy was completed. Her body was prepared for family to make final arrangements.
Bichir reportedly found his wife at the bottom of the pool, with her body weighed down. Emergency responders rushed her to a local hospital, where Sherk died eight days later.
Bichir shared a photo of Sherk on Instagram Wednesday to announce his wife's death in an emotional caption.
"Dear friends, On behalf of the Sherk and the Bichir Nájera families, it is with inconceivable pain that I announce that on April 20, 2019, our dearest Stefanie Sherk, my beloved and loving wife, passed away peacefully," Bichir wrote. "It has been the saddest and toughest time of our lives and we don't know how much time it will take for us to overcome this pain. Stefanie's beautiful, angelical and talented presence will be immensely missed. We will hold Stefanie in our hearts forever."
Bichir continued, "We thank everybody beforehand for their prayers and we respectfully ask for your understanding so we may grieve in peace and privacy in these incredibly difficult times. It is our sincerest hope that our beautiful Stefanie, my angel and love of my life, will rest in eternal peace."
Diane Kruger, Bichir's co-star in the FX drama The Bridge, was among the many stars who sent their condolences to the family.
"Oh Demian, I'm so sorry I had no idea [heartbroken emoji] I'm sending you so much love in this difficult time," she wrote.
"Sending so much love to you and your family. I will continue to pray for you all during this difficult time," Ballers actress Arielle Kebbel wrote.
Bichir and Sherk began dating in 2010 and did not share any children. Bichir, 55, is the father of daughter Gala, 8, from a previous relationship.
Sherk was born in Canada and starred in Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song, Bichir's first film as director. She also starred in Star Power, Valentine's Day, Loco Love and the 2015 TV series #Hashtag: The Series. She also filmed the new Grudge movie, which is set to be released next year and also stars Bichir.
Bichir is best known for his roles in The Hateful Eight, Alien: Covenant, Savages, The Nun, In The Time of Butterflies and Che. He earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role in Chris Weitz's 2011 film A Better Life.
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty Images