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‘I am destroyed’: Widow of slain GTA soccer ref pleads for info to husband’s unsolved murder

Woodbridge resident Edwin Alvarado would have turned 51 today.

Instead of celebrating his birthday, his grieving widow and children will be marking 570 days without their husband and father.

On the evening of Oct. 9, 2022, Alvarado, a futsal referee, was one of three people shot at La Liga Sports Complex, near Finch Avenue West and Dufferin Street. He was rushed to the hospital, but died there a short time later.

One of the other victims sustained life-threatening injuries, while the third person’s injuries were deemed serious. Their injuries have both been “life-altering,” police later said.

The shooter fled the scene.

Toronto police are still unclear about exactly what was happening inside the indoor soccer and basketball facility when the shooting occurred or if the victims were targeted.

They have identified 19-year-old Cristian Adolfo Cuxum as the alleged shooter and a warrant has been issued for his arrest for the offences of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Last year, Cuxum was #1 on BOLO’s list of most wanted fugitives in Canada and a $250,000 reward was offered for information that leads to his arrest.

He remains at-large and is now one of six Toronto suspects on the list’s 2024 edition. A $100,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

Cristian Cuxum

Reward: Up to $100,000

Reward expires: Dec. 3, 2024

Photo credit: boloprogram.org

In a one-page statement released on Wednesday, Alvarado’s wife, Alexandra Barrera, said the sorrow she’s experienced since losing her husband to gun violence has been unbearable.

“When you live a life that is filled with pain, it is hard to imagine things getting any more difficult,” she wrote.

“But somehow, since my life of pain began 570 days ago, there have been days that have exceeded what I ever thought a person could survive. Days when I thought, This is it. This is the day my broken heart will finally stop beating.”

Barrera said she longs to know what happened to her husband, to see the surveillance video from the scene on the day he died. That footage, however, must be saved for court, she noted.

Most of all, Barrera said she wants to see the man responsible for killing Edwin caught and put behind bars.

“What I really need is for the man who murdered my husband to be locked up. Because the thought of him doing what he did to us – to my gentle and loving Edwin, to our kids, to me – to another family, is one of those things that feels too much to bear, one of those things that might halt my beating heart,” she said.

“With Edwin went my joy, my laugher, my soul, my sleep. I am destroyed. But somehow, I am still alive. I am still a mother. I still go to work each day. And my heart continues to beat.”

Barrera went on to say that she appreciates that the search continues for her husband’s killer, but admitted that it’s also extremely painful to see the suspect’s face splashed all over the news and social media once again.

She said that it feels like she’s “stuck in this most horrible chapter in this most horrible book about this most horrible journey” and pleaded to anyone who has information about her husband’s murder to contact authorities.

“Please, if you know something, anything, that will allow me to turn the page, release the pressure valve, and begin the next chapter, call in a tip,” Barrera said.

“My pain will undoubtedly remain, but perhaps I will be able to carry it more lightly.”

Police told CP24 that investigation into Alvarado’s murder is ongoing, but they do not have any updates on the case at this time.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Toronto at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

With files from CP24’s Joshua Freeman

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