Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur made a brief court appearance via video link at a Toronto courthouse on Wednesday.
McArthur's lawyer, who attended the proceeding at the College Park courthouse, did not respond to questions from reporters following the appearance this morning.
The 66-year-old landscaper is currently facing five counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick.
After McArthur’s appearance, a friend and former roommate of Dean Lisowick, who identified himself only as Jeff, said he wasn’t emotionally prepared to see Lisowick’s alleged killer on a screen.
“You’re just numb,” Jeff said of seeing McArthur’s face. “You don’t know what to feel about it.”
Jeff said Lisowick moved in to his apartment on Church Street in 2015 and they lived together for about two and a half months before Lisowick abruptly moved out.
“He came back to my back door once and said he’d be back but he never came back,” Jeff said.
Jeff said Lisowick struggled with a crack addiction but was kind and paid his rent on time when they lived together.
Police previously said Lisowick did not fit the same profile as the other identified victims, but Jeff said Lisowick was indeed a member of the gay community and the fact that he lived for a time on Church Street indicates he shared more in common with the other four victims than was first known.
Jeff said Lisowick told him he had a daughter, who he now believes to be about 15 years old. He said he and others who knew Lisowick are trying to locate the girl because they aren’t sure if she is even aware of her father’s death.
So far they have been unable to contact her.
Police said last week that Kinsman’s remains along with the remains of five other individuals were found in large planters at a Leaside property where McArthur stored items for his landscaping business.
Investigators would not say if they believe the remains found on the property belong to any of the other previously identified victims.
Investigators said Tuesday that after excavating the backyard of the home in Leaside, located at 53 Mallory Crescent, no other human remains were found.
After weeks of searches at the property, police released the home back to the owners on Wednesday afternoon.
McArthur was first charged on Jan. 18 in connection with the deaths of Kinsman, 49, and Esen, 44, who both went missing from the Church-Wellesley Village neighbourhood in 2017.
Weeks later, police laid three additional murder charges against McArthur in the deaths of Kayhan, 58, Mahmudi, 50, and Lisowick, 47.
McArthur is scheduled to appear in court next on Feb. 28.