"My son loved life. He was always on the move trying to enjoy himself," Novak Sr. said.
After some time working a 9 to 5 job, the 24-year-old was aiming to get a jump start in culinary arts.
"He was a great cook, so chef," Novak Sr. said.
On Sunday, September 28th, 2008, Matt and 2 of his friends decided to go celebrate the Puerto Rican Day parade. On their way back home, at about 6:00 p.m., their car broke down at 6th and Green Streets in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties section. They tried for about an hour to fix it themselves.
"All of a sudden this car came by," Novak Sr. said.
Matt flagged it down, spoke to the men inside and then returned to his friends.
"He says I'll be right back I'm going to get jumper cables," Matt Sr. said. "Well, my son for some reason got in the car with them."
Police say the men drove Matt 8 blocks to 13th and Fairmount. That's where things went terribly wrong.
"Either kicked him out or pushed him out and that's where they shot him," Novak Sr. said.
Matt died at the hospital.
Surveillance cameras at the crime scene captured shots of the suspect's car. Authorities have determined they are looking for an electric blue Impala with New Jersey plates. Witnesses say 3 men were inside the car, two in front and one in the back.
"We all have loved ones and these guys are still running around out there. You know they could kill one of their family members," Novak Sr. said.
The family hopes a $20,750 reward will encourage someone to come forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Matt's death.