Connor Tolson, who was 21 at the time, had been out celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday in Brighton on the evening of Friday 18 September 2015, hours before he was strangled in his bungalow in the backyard, which then went up in flames.
Police said he left the party and went to a train station with three other guests around 11.30pm.
A driver then picked him up near North Brighton Railway Station around noon. 12.13 Saturday, and dropped him off near his home in Malvern East.
Tolson’s sister hears sounds that sounded like movements in the backyard around noon. 03.30, but when she looked out of her window she saw nothing.
Local residents smelled smoke between 4.30 and 4.45 and went to investigate the source of the odor, with a number of calls made to triple-zero to report the fire.
His sister woke up just before noon. 05.00 to find the bungalow on fire and woke her mother, who kicked the front door open, but it was already filled with smoke and flames.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and inspected the bungalow and found Mr Tolson’s body inside.
The fire is believed to be non-suspicious, but one coronial examination of his death found out that his injuries were not an accident and his death occurred before the fire, which was intentionally lit.
The 21-year-old received bruises on his neck but had not inhaled any of the toxic chemicals from the fire.
Senior Sergeant Mark Kennedy of the Fire Foundation and Explosives Squad said Tolson’s family deserved answers, hoping the reward would encourage anyone with information about the fire and his death to sign up.
“Connor was a talented young musician whose young life was tragically shortened that night,” he said.
“There is a possibility that the person or persons responsible for his death may have talked to someone about Connor, and today’s reward announcement may lead to them finally coming forward with information.
“People’s circumstances may change over the years, and someone who may not have wanted to provide information to the police in the past may now feel ready to do so.
“No matter how insignificant you think the information is, it may be exactly what our investigators need to make a breakthrough in this case.”
Any information provided will be treated confidentially and may be provided at any timeCrime stoppersat 1800 333 000.
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