Police identify man in photo linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, April 13, 2018 11:29AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 13, 2018 6:42PM EDT
Toronto police say they’ve positively identified a deceased man believed to be a victim of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Investigators had released a digitally altered photograph of an unknown middle-aged man on March 5 in a last ditch effort to identify him.
Police say they investigated more than 70 potential identities and eventually narrowed their leads down to 22.
A second version of the photograph created by a forensic sketch artist was released on April 9.
Three days later, police say they were able to confirm his identity. Police say “good feedback” from the public helped them made the determination.
“It was a rare step for us to put out that photograph,” Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told CP24. “We had done a number of investigative things before putting it out public, but we then made that decision and got a lot of feedback from the community and the media and have been able to identify that man.”
Investigators have not released the man’s name but say they expect to provide more details once they notify his next of kin. Lead investigator Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga will provide an update on the case on April 16 at 10:30 a.m.
“Right now, our priority is notifying his family,” Gray said. “Once we’ve done that, then we will look to put out that information the way we have with other victims.”
No criminal charges have been laid in connection with his death at this time.
Idsinga previously said police had received as many as 500 tips about the man in the photograph.
Though detectives could technically lay a charge without identifying him, Idsinga told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that he wanted to “put a name to him” before doing so.
McArthur has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearances of seven men with ties to the city’s LGBTQ community.
The 66-year-old landscaper was charged this week with in the death of 42-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi, who disappeared from the neighbourhood in 2010.
The other charges relate to the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick and Skandaraj Navaratnam.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Idsinga announced Wednesday that investigators had identified all but one set of human remains found in planters at a Leaside property where McArthur did landscaping work.
They say the remains of Majeed Kayhan have not yet been located.
Starting as early as next month, Idsinga said police will begin investigating at least 75 additional properties where McArthur is believed to have work. Detectives also remain at the Thorncliffe Park apartment where McArthur lived prior to his arrest.
He said investigators “just don’t know” how far reaching the investigation will stretch but confirmed that detectives are now scrutinizing unsolved cases dating back to 1975 for possibly links to McArthur.