Forensic teams make new discovery at property connected to Bruce McArthur
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018 9:05AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 4, 2018 7:47PM EDT
Police and forensic units searching near a Leaside property connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur have made a discovery, but the exact nature of the evidence found is unclear.
Video shots by CTV News Toronto camera crews show teams excavating the ground in a wooded area behind a home on Mallory Crescent, where Toronto police investigators revived their search for evidence on Wednesday.
A black vehicle believed to be a coroner’s van was seen pulling up to the property in the afternoon. Police teams were seen working around the van before they loaded something into the vehicle, shut the doors and drove away.
Former homicide detective and CP24 crime specialist Steve Ryan said any evidence found at the property during this search will be treated as “the most fragile.”
“Anytime a person dies or a body is located, whether it’s a full body or remains, that becomes property of the coroner of the province of Ontario and it is the responsibility of the coroner to remove that body or body parts,” he said while watching the active scene at the Leaside home.
“From my past experience, that looks to be like two employees of the coroner’s office and a vehicle of the coroner’s office and to me it looks like they are removing something from that scene.”
“You can just imagine how carefully they have to transport that (evidence) from the ground to that vehicle and from that vehicle to the coroner’s office," he added. "At the end of the day you have to prove to the court that nothing was tampered with when it (the evidence) came from the ground.”
Since McArthur's arrest on Jan. 18, much of the investigation has centered on a Mallory Crescent home where the dismembered remains of seven men were found in large planters.
Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said cadaver dogs were recently brought back to the home where they identified new places of interest, including a ravine located at the rear of the property. The home had previously been turned back over to its owners after a lengthy search.
“Dogs indicated on a number of different places on the property and that’s what led to today’s excavation,” she told CP24 via phone on Wednesday.
The Centre of Forensic Sciences is involved with the search, according to a Toronto police press release. Kathy Gruspier, the only fulltime forensic anthropologist in Canada, has taken a leading role. Subject matter experts from Durham Regional Police and Ontario Police were also brought in the assist.
Gray said it’s too early to tell whether more remains will be found on the property.
“We started the excavation today,” she said. “When that excavation is complete, our investigators will update with as to what, if anything, was found on this property.”
“When there is information to share we will look to provide an update,” Gray added.
Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator on the case, told CP24 via email that he expects officers will be at Mallory Crescent for at least a week, possibly several.
Police previously examined 100 other properties scattered across the Greater Toronto Area, related to McArthur’s landscaping business, but no new evidence was found.
An exhaustive search of McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment was deemed complete on May. Police said that investigation yielded more than 1,800 pieces of evidence and more than 18,000 photographs were taken by investigators of the unit and its contents.
McArthur was first charged in connection with the deaths of two men who went missing from Toronto’s Church-Wellesley neighbourhood, known as the Gay Village, in January 2018.
To date, McArthur has been charged in the deaths of eight men – Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam. Police believe the men were killed between 2010 and 2017.
Many of them had ties to the LGBTQ community, according to police, friends and family.
McArthur is due back in court on July 23.
-With files from CTV News Toronto's Tamara Cherry