Police are probing the theory that two upstanding young men from Toronto were murdered in a case of mistaken identity.

Homicide investigators said at a news conference Wednesday they have no leads on a suspect or a motive in the shooting deaths of best friends Dylan Ellis and Oliver Martin.

The fact that the 25-year-old men lived a "stellar lifestyle, free of any criminal activity," leads investigators to believe that the shooter could have mistaken the men for someone else, said Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux.

Giroux asked anybody who may have gotten into a road rage incident or an altercation on the night of Friday, June 13 in the area of Queen and Bathurst Streets to come forward.

"We would like those people to contact us so that the incident can be investigated and cleared.

Giroux also announced a $50,000 reward for information leading up to an arrest in the case.

The men's mothers, Susan Dudeck and Karen Ellis, told reporters they are hoping the money will encourage people to come forward.

"If they need this encouragement to come forward then that's how it works," Ellis said. "My hope is that someone will come forward because they can't live with the knowledge they know anymore. Or that the killer can't take it anymore and slips up or needs to (turn themselves in.)"

Ellis and Martin were shot dead inside the Range Rover SUV they were driving. The men had just returned to a party on Walnut Avenue, near Queen Street West and Bathurst, to give back a set of keys they had mistakenly taken when someone shot them through the window.

Giroux said someone stopped their car and then fatally shot Ellis. The killer then turned his gun towards Martin but missed when Martin screamed at his girlfriend who was sitting in the back seat to get down.

Martin was then fatally shot in the heart.

Giroux said in the past three months of the investigation, he has returned to the scene of the crime several times and noticed a number of Range Rovers routinely parked in the neighbourhood. This is another reason that leads him to believe the shooter thought he was killing someone other than the men.

"It just doesn't make sense otherwise," said Dudeck when she was asked by the press if she agreed with the new theory.

Three months of agony

It has been a tough three months for the men's families, their mothers said.

Ellis, her voice breaking often with emotion, told reporters how 16 of her son's friends came to her house to watch the Dallas Cowboys opening game earlier this month because that was Dylan's favourite team.

"Even those who can't stand Dallas came by and cheered for the team," she said. "All I have space for in my life is loving him everyday, planning things for them and talking to his friends who are always around us."

Dudeck said she was at the site of the murder on September 13 to light candles to mark the three months since her son was taken from her.

"My life ended with Oliver's," she said. "His sisters who loved him dearly, will never be the same. His father and stepfather have lost their innocence.

"Please, if you have any information," she continued. "Help us find the murderer."

With a report from CTV Toronto's Jim Junkin