Friend of Cape Breton homicide victim 'flabbergasted' at death
Body of James David Matthews, 54, found in his Sydney apartment Tuesday
Financial planner and real estate developer James David Matthews has been identified as the victim of Tuesday's homicide in Sydney, N.S.
Matthews's body was found at 54 Prince St. at the apartment where he lived.
Cape Breton Regional Police publicly confirmed his identity Wednesday.
Matthews, of Matthews McDonough Financial Planning Inc. in Halifax, also owned some real estate developments in Sydney such as the Prince Street Market. His home was on the top floor of the building.
Justin McDonough was a friend and business associate who knew Matthews — who went by Jim — for 25 years. He said he was "absolutely, completely flabbergasted and shocked" to hear Matthews was killed.
"Jim was passionate about real estate," said McDonough. "He could see something and realize how to turn it into something that was great.
"I'm just grateful I had his influence in my life. He'll be sorely missed."
Matthews's passing has sent shock waves through the local business community in Sydney.
Julie Sutherland, co-owner of Doctor Luke's Coffee, said his entrepreneurial spirit was surpassed only by his kindness.
Sutherland said Matthews convinced her to move the coffee shop to the Prince Street Market in 2014 and a close friendship developed.
"The best seem to always fall first, and he fell," said Sutherland. "I guess right now it's probably shock carrying us through.
"I think we can all agree it's horrifically unfair, but that rather than sinking we have to continue to develop Jim's dream to make sure that Sydney and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality continues to grow," Sutherland said.
Police are still seeking tips from the public related to Matthews's death. Information can either be sent to police directly or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
With files from Tom Murphy and Nic Meloney