Police complete forensic work at Bruce McArthur's Thorncliffe Park apartment
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:47AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 15, 2018 7:26PM EDT
Forensic investigators have completed their search for evidence at accused serial killer Bruce McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment.
McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, has been charged with a total of eight counts of first degree murder since his arrest on Jan. 18.
He was first charged in connection with the deaths of two men who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017 – Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen.
Weeks later, he was charged in deaths of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick. Police laid charges in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam in February and charges in connection to the deaths of Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam in April.
Many of the men had ties to the city’s LGBTQ community.
During the course of the investigation, police have found the dismembered remains of at least seven men in large planters at a Leaside home McArthur previously did landscaping work at.
The remains of Majeed Kayhan have yet to be identified.
Much of the investigation has centered on McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment, which police believe to be one of multiple murder scenes.
Since that day, forensic teams spent weeks combing the 19th floor apartment, ultimately yielding more than 1,800 pieces of evidence and more than 18,000 photographs taken by investigators of the unit and its contents. At some point, the search for evidence led investigators to break through sections of drywall.
“Combined with the search of other crime scenes and vehicles related to Bruce McArthur, this is the largest forensic examination in Toronto Police Service history,” a news release by the service Tuesday reads.
Lead investigator Det. Sgt. Hank Idinga said numerous items have been seized from the apartment, leaving the space “pretty much empty.”
The evidence will be sent to the Centre of Forensic Science in North York for further review, he said.
“There’s been about 10 forensic officers assigned to this investigation and two in particular have been in that address for four months straight,” he told CP24 on Tuesday. “They’ve done some fantastic work and spent a lot of time in there. We’re glad that we’re finished there.”
Though the apartment was released back to property management on Friday, Idsinga said the wider investigation is far from over.
Cadaver dogs and homicide detectives are due to begin searching close to 100 properties linked to McArthur sometime this month.
Police would not disclose the location of the properties they intend to visit.
“We’re in the midst of that. We’ve gotten quite a bit finished with this nice warm weather and we have quite a bit more to do,” he said. “Once the dogs are finished we’ll assess what further steps we have to take in regards to those properties.”
He said it’s possible they could be finished searching most of the properties within the week.
“We’ve had a couple more (properties) come in through tips and what not and witness information but we’re still right around the 100 mark,” he said.
McArthur appeared briefly in court via video link from a Toronto jail last month where the Crown told the court that more evidence needed to be turned over to the court before he is brought back before a judge.
He is due to appear in court again on May 23.