File Number: 104200143
A property crime escalating into a cold-blooded homicide is a rarity, but the Niagara Regional Police Service believe this is exactly what transpired twenty years ago when victim John Horvath interrupted a break and enter inside his Welland home.
On Jan. 4, 1999, during the early stages of the investigation, police discovered a back door to the Norway Avenue home of Horvath had been physically forced open. Police were initially contacted by concerned neighbours after snow from a recent storm had yet to be shovelled by Horvath.
Upon entry, and what appeared to be a routine break and enter quickly morphed into a homicide investigation when the body of Horvath was located mere steps away, inside the unsecured home at the bottom of stairs that led to the basement of the home.
Police believe the forced entry and homicide occurred two days earlier, on Jan. 2, 1999. Horvath had been beaten to death.
Police believe the suspect(s) were anticipating the Norway Avenue home to be unoccupied. Instead, the person or persons responsible were unexpectedly confronted by the homeowner after forcefully entering the home by unknown means.
Horvath was a former shop teacher from E.L. Crossley Secondary School in Welland. At the time of the murder, Horvath was a retiree in his mid-seventies, living alone in his Norway Avenue home.
Niagara regional police are seeking the public's assistance for any information pertaining to the solvable cold case homicide of Horvath, 20 years after this horrific crime occurred.
"The investigation into the unsolved homicide of Mr. John Horvath remains open and the Niagara Regional Police Service is committed to continuing this investigation in order to identify the person or people responsible," says Staff Sgt. Luigi Greco from the Niagara Regional Police Service major crime unit.
Investigators are encouraging anyone who may have information related to this unsolved homicide to contact the homicide unit at 905-688-4111 ext. 4200 or online at www.niagaratips.ca.
To leave an anonymous tip, please contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online: www.crimestoppersniagara.com.
Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous through any of the methods offered to provide tips and you will never be asked to appear in court. You may also be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 if the information leads to an arrest.