By Steve Beck and Cleve Bryan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the six year anniversary of his unsolved murder, the family of a South Jersey man is hoping his killers will be brought to justice.
On September 28, 2008, Matthew Novak Jr., of Mullica Hill, and two of his friends went to the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Philadelphia.
After leaving the parade, the driver of the car the three friends were riding in pulled over at 6th and Green Streets in Center City after a disagreement began inside the car.
When the three tried to get back into the car, the car wouldn’t start. At that point, they began calling friends to come assist them.
Approximately 45 minutes later, a car with three individuals inside pulled over near their broken-down car. Matt approached the car, talked to the men inside and then told his friends he was getting in the car with them to get some jumper cables.
Matt got into the passenger side of the car and drove away heading towards Fairmount Avenue. The car stopped at 13th Street and Fairmount Avenue and as Matt was getting out of the car, the person who was in the back seat with him shot Matt in the hip.
Matt ran across the street and was rushed to a local hospital, but he later died.
“When the surgeon came in and gave the word, I sat in disbelief; his friends basically exploded in hysterics,” recalls Matt Novak, Sr.
WATCH: In-Depth Video On Details In Matthew’s Murder:
After shooting Matt, the suspects drove away, and to this day, they remain on the loose.
It remains a mystery as to why the suspects shot Matt. Investigators say at the hospital, Matt had all of his belongings in his possession.
“It kills me to watch my family in pain, that my uncle and aunt lost a son. It drives me forward to keep working at this, and here we are, six years later, working hard to keep this alive,” says Gloucester Twp Police detective Chuck Dougherty.
Doughterty, Novak Sr.’s nephew, has been working with Philadelphia homicide detectives on his cousin’s case, but it’s at a sticking point because no amount of surveillance video enhancement has cleared up the license plate number on the Impala.
All he can do is help raise money to increase the reward, which is now $42,000, and he uses social media to keep Novak’s murder fresh in people’s minds.
“It can happen to anybody. My son and my family didn’t know he was going to leave that day and go get murdered,” says Novak, Sr., whose hope is that someone will step up because of the money or to clear their conscience.
“Put yourself in my place and please help us. Please help the community; these guys are still out there doing it,” he says.
Anyone with any information is urged to call the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS.
For more information, please visit WhoKilledMattNovak.com.
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