Photo released of deceased man believed to be victim of Bruce McArthur: police
Published Monday, March 5, 2018 5:47AM EST Last Updated Friday, April 13, 2018 11:36AM EDT
Editor's Note: A photo of a deceased man was removed from this article after police were able to identify him.
Homicide detectives have taken the unusual step of releasing a photo of an unidentified deceased man who investigators believe is a victim of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference Monday, Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga said previous attempts to identify the man were unsuccessful and police are now releasing the photo to the public in the hope that someone can identify the man.
“We have also shown the picture to numerous contacts within the community and have been unsuccessful,” he said. “I do not want to release this picture and am doing so as a last resort.”
He would not say how or where police obtained the photo or if any similar photos of other victims exist.
“I would ask anyone who recognizes the individual in this picture to contact us as soon as possible. We need to put a name to this face and bring closure to this man’s loved ones,” Idsinga added.
McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick.
None of the charges have been proven in court.
Last month, police confirmed that the remains of Kinsman, Mahmudi, and Navaratnam were found along with the remains of three not yet identified people in garden planters on a property on Mallory Crescent, where McArthur stored items for his landscaping business.
On Monday, Idsinga confirmed that forensic investigators have since determined that there were actually at least seven sets of remains found in the planters seized from the Leaside property.
Police have not ruled out the possibility that some of the unidentified remains could belong to Esen, Kayhan, or Lisowick.
Investigators have not yet linked the deceased man in the photograph to the unidentified remains found at the Mallory Crescent property.
Idsinga said forensic teams have done dental and fingerprint testing on the remains and are now moving on to DNA testing to try to confirm the identities of the victims.
Michael Pollanen, the chief forensic pathologist of Ontario, also spoke to reporters at Monday’s news conference and said his team is working “tirelessly” to try to determine the identities of the victims and their cause of death.
"This is a unique investigation in the history of our organization. It is drawing on the talents and expertise of essentially everyone in the organization," he said.
He said it will take some time to be able to definitively determine the cause of death.
“The state of decomposition and the dismemberment process requires us to reconstruct remains and then collect all of the relevant data; the anatomical data, the toxicological data, put it all together to ascertain the cause of death,” he said. “That is a painstaking process.”
Idsinga would not say if he believes more remains will be discovered as the investigation continues.
“At this point in time, I really don’t know,” he said.
McArthur was first charged in January in connection with the murders of Kinsman and Esen, who disappeared from the Church-Wellesley Village in 2017.
Less than two weeks later, three more murder charges were laid against McArthur in the deaths of Mahmudi, Kayhan, and Lisowick.
Police said 50-year-old Mahmudi was reported missing in 2015 by his family in Scarborough and Kayhan went missing from the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood in 2012.
Police believe Lisowick, who was never reported missing, was killed sometime between May 2016 and July 2017.
Last month, a sixth murder charge was laid against the 66-year-old in the death of Navaratnam, who disappeared from the Church-Wellesley area in 2010.
Police have combed through planters at some 30 properties where the accused serial killer worked.
So far, all of the remains have been found at the property on Mallory Crescent.
Anyone with information about the man in the photo, regardless of how insignificant that information may seem, is asked to call investigators at 416-808-2021. Anonymous tips can be left through Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.