Toronto police have released a photo of an unidentified man they believe is another victim of an alleged serial killer behind at least six murders in the Church and Wellesley area, a neighborhood in central Toronto known as the city's gay village.
In a dramatic press conference on Monday, police also said they had now found a total of seven sets of dismembered human remains in garden planters at a midtown Toronto home, where 66-year-old accused murderer Bruce McArthur had worked as a landscaper.
McArthur was arrested in January and has been charged with six counts of first degree murder. Police have yet to translate their latest discovery into a seventh murder charge for McArthur, however.
“I do not want to release this picture and am doing so as a last resort.”
Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga asked for help from the public in identifying the photo of another man who is believed to be one of McArthur’s victims.
“I do not want to release this picture and am doing so as a last resort,” said Idsinga, before warning that the photo might be disturbing to viewers who may know the man, but may not know that he has died. “A family member or friend may come to that realization from the moment they view the picture.”
‘NEED FOR CLOSURE’
In January, McArthur was charged with first degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017. Later that month, police charged him with the murders of Majeed Kayhan and Soroush Mahmudi, who had also disappeared from the village, as well as a man named Dean Lisowick, who had never been reported missing.
Last month, McArthur was charged with the murder of Skandaraj Navaratnam, with whom he had a romantic history. Navaratnam was reported missing in 2010.
So far, they’ve only been able to identify three of the seven sets of remains as belonging to Kinsman, Mahmoudi and Navaratnam.
Detective Idsinga said police released the photo of the man they believe is McArthur’s seventh victim because they’d exhausted all traditional methods of identifying him. In the picture, the man’s eyes are nearly shut, and Idsinga said police believe the man was dead when the picture was taken.
“We need to put a name to this face and bring closure to the man’s loved ones,” he said.
Police are currently in the process of reconstructing the dismembered remains, which are in “various stages of decomposition,” said Idsinga.
The home at the center of the investigation belongs to a couple who allowed McArthur to store his equipment in their garage in exchange for landscaping work.
Dr. Michael Pollanen, Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist, said experts are working to reconstruct the remains with three objectives in mind: to identify the remains, to determine the causes of the deaths, and to use forensic techniques to figure out what happened to the victims.
"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," Pollanen said.
As part of the investigation, upwards of 20 planters had been seized from properties across the city, police said.
McArthur has been held in segregation at the Toronto South Detention Centre since his arrest in January.
This article originally appeared on VICE News CA.