Toronto Police announced they have recovered the remains of a man believed to be one of the eight victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. McArthur had already been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Majeed Kayhan, but his remains had not been identified until now.
And police now have no reason to believe McArthur had any more victims, Acting Inspector Hank Idsinga, who is overseeing the investigation, told reporters on Friday morning.
It was the first update from police since they concluded an extensive nine-day excavation of the ravine behind the Mallory Crescent home in east Toronto home where McArthur, 66, worked as a landscaper. Police said that remains were uncovered every day there during their search.
“I hope it stops at eight,” Idsinga said. “I think that we’re done now.”
The Mallory Crescent property has been the main focal point of the excavations as it was where police discovered the dismembered remains of the seven other victims in large planters earlier this year.
Police had carried out extensive searches on nearly 100 properties in the Greater Toronto Area linked to McArthur, but did not recover anything as a result of those searches.
In addition to Kayhan, McArthur is currently facing first-degree murder charges in the deaths Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Selim Esen, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Kirushnakumar Kanagaratnam and Abdulbasir Faizi. Most of them had ties to Toronto’s Gay Village, with the earliest alleged murder taking place in 2010.
Idsinga added that investigators continue to comb through cold murder cases dating back to the 1970s for possible ties to McArthur, but so far there have been none. But they’re now focused on getting ready for the upcoming court proceedings by preparing disclosures and getting Crown prosecutors up to speed.
Kayhan was 58 years old when he was reported missing in October of 2012.
"I hope it stops at eight,” Idsinga said. “I think that we’re done now."
With the discovery of his remains, Kayhan’s family can now begin to heal, Idsinga said. “They are very thankful for the closure and they're very angry, and I think they’re angry at the right person, which is Mr. McArthur.”
“It’s important for the families, for closure, for the victims themselves, and I think for the community as a whole,” Idsinga continued.
The Toronto Police have faced intense scrutiny for the way they handled the missing persons cases of McArthur’s alleged victims, and the police service is conducting an internal review of their processes. Toronto Police relations with LGBTQ+ communities is at a low point, as community advocates say their concerns about a possible serial killers targeting their community for years went ignored until McArthur was arrested in January.
McArthur is currently in jail and his next court appearance is schedule for Monday.
Cover image: Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press