The family of a well-known Halifax businessman says they are in shock and disbelief after he was found dead in his Sydney apartment on Tuesday. Police say James David Matthews was the victim of a homicide.

His sister, Beth Harbin, is hoping anyone with information will come forward.

“You try to gather all the thoughts in your mind, like who could have done this, why could this have happened,” says Harbin. “Then you quickly realize you need to gather yourself together and deal with the grief.”

The business communities of Sydney and Halifax are also saddened by Matthews’ death. He split his time between the two cities as the founder of a financial planning business. His vision was to vitalize Sydney’s downtown.

Those who knew Matthews describe him as hard working and thoughtful.

“It’s one of those things when people say, they say they were the best person ever, and here I am saying Jim was the best person ever,” says business owner and friend Julie Sutherland. “A man like Jim should not have died like this.”

Cape Breton Regional Police have released few details so far, only to say the incident is being treated as a homicide and the investigation is ongoing.

Matthews’ family says their days are filled with mixed emotions, including anger at the person who took his life.

“I truly, I can't deal with that right now,” says Harbin. “That's not an area I want to go to.”

Harbin says Matthews will be remembered as an avid cyclist, runner and a man passionate about travel.

“In my heart he will just always be my big brother,” she says.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.