A $50,000 reward has been posted for evidence leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the murder of a Toronto woman two years ago.
Jelena Loncar, 32, had just finished her shift as a server at a downtown restaurant on August 26, 2014. She was walking to her condo when she decided to stop at a night club in the Portland St. and Wellington St. area to convey birthday greetings to a friend who was a patron of the club.
While waiting on the sidewalk in front of the club which was closing, three cars drove up.
“It was at this time we believe several suspects entered the crowd,” said Detective Andy Singh, at a news conference at police headquarters on August 26. “They approached two men in the crowd and attempted to rob them of gold chains they were wearing. They were successful in robbing one of the males, but the other resisted and got into a verbal altercation with the suspect who produced a firearm and discharged multiple gunshots.”
Loncar was struck by a stray bullet in the chest and collapsed. She died in hospital.
The man who was shot collapsed at a Shell Gas Station at Wellington St. and Spadina Ave.
Police believe the victim, who has recovered from his injuries, was targeted.
“It’s the belief of investigators that the robbing of the gold chains was not their motive,” said Singh. “The suspects, rather, were targeting the male victim. She was just an innocent bystander caught in the line of fire.”
Homicide investigators released a composite sketch of the suspect involved in the gold-chain robbery. They do not know if he was involved in the shooting.
He is described as having black skin, 5’11”, with a medium build, gold grills in his teeth and in his 20s.
A photo of a pendant stolen, along with surveillance videos of the three cars the suspects arrived in, were also released.
They are a white Chrysler 300 with no front plates, a dark Nissan Altima and a dark Hyundai four-door.
Singh said the vehicles were present at the scene of a shooting at 689 The Queensway, prior to arriving at Wellington St. and Portland St.
“The most important piece eludes police and that’s the identification of the person responsible for firing the shot that killed Jelena,” he added. “…There are certainly one or more persons that know who is responsible for killing Jelena. We are still hopeful that some patrons have video of the actual shooting.”
Loncar's sister, Lana, joined Singh at the news conference and made a tearful appeal for the public’s help identifying the killer.
“I could tell you how my sister was literally always happy and she gave the best hugs ever, but none of that will change what happened and none of that will bring her back. The reality of the situation is that her life was taken from her by somebody who had a choice. He chose to shoot his gun into a crowd of people and take the risk of killing an innocent person. There’s no happy ending to this story and nothing will ever take away the pain that my family lives with each and every day.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Unit at (416) 808-7400; Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.