$1m reward to solve Vic musician's death

·2-min read

A $1 million reward is on offer to solve the suspicious death of a young Melbourne musician after a fire at his home more than six years ago.

It is believed Connor Tolson, 21, died before the blaze started in his bungalow at the back of his family's home in Malvern East on September 19, 2015.

Mr Tolson, the drummer in Melbourne band Riders Of Sin, had been out celebrating a friend's 21st birthday in Brighton on September 18.

He left the party to walk to the train station with three other guests about 11.30pm.

Mr Tolson was picked up by a rideshare driver near North Brighton train station at 12.13am on September 19 and dropped off near his home.

His sister heard noises that sounded like movement in the backyard about 3.30am, but when she looked out of her window she did not see anything.

Local residents smelled smoke and called triple zero to report a fire between 4.30am and 4.45am, and Mr Tolson's sister awoke just before 5am to see the bungalow ablaze.

She woke her mother and they went outside to find the bungalow well alight.

Mr Tolson's mother kicked open the front door, with the bungalow already filled with smoke and flames.

Fire crews arrived and extinguished the blaze before inspecting the bungalow and finding the musician's body, with the incident initially deemed non-suspicious.

However, an autopsy report indicated Mr Tolson had died before the fire.

The findings of a 2017 inquest later found his death was suspicious and referred it to the Victoria Police Arson and Explosives Squad to investigate.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Kennedy said those responsible may have spoken to someone about Mr Tolson.

"We believe that someone in the community has knowledge about the fire and certainly about Connor's death," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"However insignificant or minuscule that person thinks that information is, we want that person to come forward."

There are still several people of interest in the case.

The inquest heard Mr Tolson's elder brother James was the main suspect but Coroner Audrey Jamieson made no finding as to who she believed was responsible.

Police believe the fire was deliberately lit to conceal the nature of Mr Tolson's death, with the blaze destroying key evidence.

His father Bill Tolson, who was living in a nearby house, said the family initially believed his death was a tragic accident.

He hopes the reward will entice someone who has been sitting on critical information about his son's death to come forward.

"It's six years ago. I've gone through three years of howling my eyes out," he said.

"I'm over it now. I realise the world is a pretty horrible place and I just accept the new world I'm in.

"But it would be great to have a conclusion for family and his friends."

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