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Suspect wanted for murder of man refereeing Toronto soccer game tops Canada’s most wanted list

Click to play video: 'Bolo program releases updated list of Canada’s most wanted'
Bolo program releases updated list of Canada’s most wanted
WATCH ABOVE: As Catherine McDonald reports, the most wanted suspect allegedly shot a soccer referee to death last Thanksgiving. – May 1, 2023

A suspect wanted for the murder of a Toronto man who was refereeing a soccer game last fall has topped Canada’s most wanted list, authorities announced on Monday.

Officials with the BOLO program, which stands for “be on the lookout,” alongside Toronto police said a $250,000 reward has been issued for any information that leads to the arrest of a suspect wanted for shooting and killing 49-year-old Edwin Farley Alvarado Quintero, and shooting two other victims on Oct. 9, 2022.

Edwin was refereeing a match on Thanksgiving Sunday at La Liga, an indoor sports complex and event venue near Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West, when a suspect opened fire at around 7:20 p.m.

Monday would have been Edwin’s 50th birthday.

“Instead of preparing for that party. I am here,” said Alexandra Barrera, Edwin’s wife, at a large press conference at Yonge-Dundas Square. “And instead of enjoying  Edwin’s party for him later today, I will be visiting him at the cemetery.”

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“To the man who took Edwin’s life, you destroyed us. You destroyed our family, you destroyed our plans, our dreams, our sense of safety, our everything,” she said.

Edwin had recently immigrated to Canada from Colombia, living in Woodbridge, Ont., and was a husband and father.

Edwin Farley Alvarado Quintero. Toronto Police

Toronto Police chief Myron Demkiw told reporters, standing in front of 25 life-sized cardboard cutouts of Canada’s most wanted fugitives, that the suspect wanted for Edwin’s “brazen, senseless murder” is 19-year-old Cristian Cuxum.

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Demkiw also alleges Cuxum shot two other people playing soccer that day. The two players survived but sustained life-altering injuries, he said.

“I truly hope that through today’s Bolo event we are able to apprehend the man responsible and give your family some sense of closure,” Demkiw said.

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“If you see one of these individuals on the cut-outs behind me, call Crime Stoppers. Call police. Call 911.” Demkiw continued. “If you know where one of these most wanted individuals is, the time has come to give them up. We don’t need evidence, we don’t need them in court, we just need to find them.”

Click to play video: 'Canadian authorities identify 2nd, and 5th most wanted fugitives'
Canadian authorities identify 2nd, and 5th most wanted fugitives

The Bolo Program is a national program that asks for the public’ help in arresting Canada’s most wanted fugitives. Bolo Program director Max Langlois said those who provide tips leading to the suspect’s whereabouts and arrest are not asked to provide evidence, nor attend court and can give information “without ever speaking to a police officer.”

Cuxum is in the number one spot for Canada’s top 25 most wanted list. The $250,000 reward for his arrest is available until Nov. 30, 2023, and is set to expire after that.

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Cuxum is wanted for murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Cristian Cuxum, 19. Bolo Program

When it comes to determining who takes the number one spot on the list, Langlois said a chair committee with seven members who are active police investigators go through assessing cases presented to Bolo and use a mix of policies, procedures and their overall judgement when making the determination.

Click to play video: 'Cristian Cuxum identified as Canada’s top wanted fugitive: police'
Cristian Cuxum identified as Canada’s top wanted fugitive: police

Some requirements include looking at suspects on Canada-wide warrants, those wanted for the greatest crime in the criminal code such as murder, the gravity of the case and the community impact from it, Langlois said.

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Meanwhile, six suspects wanted by Toronto Police are on the top 25 list. A full list of suspects from across Ontario and Canada can be found here.

On display at Yonge-Dundas Square on May, 1, 2023 are 25 life-sized cardboard cutouts of Canada’s most wanted fugitives according to the Bolo Program. Catherine McDonald / Global News

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