‘We are desperate’: Family of slain Toronto tech CEO announces $250,000 reward in unsolved murder case

Nearly five years after Matthew Staikos was gunned down in Toronto, the family of the tech CEO has announced a $250,000 reward in the unsolved murder case.

“To say that the last four years, eight months, and 10 days have not been easy would be a gross understatement. Every day has been excruciating, insufferable, seemingly unsurvivable,” the family said in a statement at a news conference Tuesday.

“Today is no different. And yet, here we are. We don’t want to be here. It is incredibly difficult for us to once again be standing in front of the cameras, sharing our pain with the world. But we are desperate.”

Staikos, a former BlackBerry employee and CEO of the Toronto-based Vleepo, was shot and killed while he was walking in the area of Yorkville Avenue and Bay Street on the night of May 28, 2018.

Surveillance video released at the time shows Staikos walking in the affluent neighbourhood at approximately 11:30 p.m. with another person when the pair passed a Mercedes-Benz that was parked on the street.

A man appeared to exit from the passenger side of the vehicle and follow the two men out of the surveillance camera’s view. Then, the man is seen running back to the Mercedes and fleeing southbound on Bay Street.

One witness described hearing loud gunshots before he discovered Staikos’s body. The 37-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Matthew Staikos is seen in this photo taken from his Facebook page.

Toronto police have stayed tight lipped on a possible motive behind the shooting.

“Our lives will never be the same. We will never be as joyful, as calm, or as complete as we once were when our sweet, brilliant Matthew was with us and living his beautiful life. But being able to bring Matthew’s killer to justice, to understand why this happened, to take the next step forward in this most unfortunate process will, we think, bring us some peace,” the family said Tuesday.

Days after the incident, homicide detective Omar Khan described it as an “unprovoked attack on a defenceless man.”

A Mercedes-Benz, which police have identified as a suspect vehicle in the deadly shooting of Matthew Staikos, is seen on May 28, 2021. Toronto Police Service)

Khan said that it appears the killer did “intend to shoot” Staikos, but police have never said whether they knew each other.

The private reward of up to $250,000 will go to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of Matthew’s killer or killers, a spokesperson for the family said in a statement.

The family previously announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Staikos’s murder back in 2021.

That reward has since expired and is being reissued by way of Tuesday’s announcement. 

Anonymous tips made through Crime Stoppers will also be eligible for the reward money.

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