TORONTO — Investigators have recovered the remains of a seventh individual linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, Toronto police said Monday, as they released a photograph of a dead man they hoped the public would help identify.
McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, is currently charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of six men who had disappeared from or had ties to Toronto’s gay village.
Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said the latest unidentified remains were recovered from a planter at a Toronto property where the remains of six other people had been found.
Investigators didn’t initially realize they had seven sets of remains in their possession, he said.
“I can’t really get into specifics about why we didn’t realize there were seven remains there, but we had the planters several weeks ago,” Idsinga said.
In a rare move, police also released a photograph of a man who they believe is a victim of McArthur’s. Idsinga said investigators believe the man was dead when the photo was taken.
“I’ve never done this and I do it with great hesitation,” he said. “It’s obviously a key piece of evidence that we have that we’re releasing, but we do feel that by releasing it hopefully we can identify him and close off that area of investigation.”
Idsinga wouldn’t say when investigators got the photo or how it came into their possession, only that it was through the course of their probe.
McArthur was arrested in January and charged with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.
Later that month, McArthur was charged with the first-degree murder of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick.
McArthur was also charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam late last month.
Idsinga said there was evidence pointing to a cause of death in at least some of the cases, but wouldn’t elaborate.
So far, police have only identified three of the sets of remains recovered — those of Kinsman, 49, Mahmudi, 50, and Navaratnam, 40.
“We still have four sets of unidentified remains,” Idsinga said. “We’ve gone through fingerprints and dental records and we’re now into the DNA process.”
McArthur’s next court hearing is set for March 14.