Toronto police have charged 66-year-old Bruce McArthur with first-degree murder in the disappearance of two men on Thursday.
Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen were both from the city’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, which is the historic home of Toronto’s LGBTQ communities.
McArthur was living in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood, but was known to frequent the Church and Wellesley area.
Police are searching four locations: three of which are in Toronto, while the fourth is in Madoc, Ont.
Investigators said McArthur owns a landscaping company called Artistic Design.
He was also employed as a Santa Claus at Agincourt Mall over the past few Christmas seasons, officials at the mall confirmed to Global News. They said he was hired through a third party, and that there were no issues raised with officials during his employment.
“There were no reported incidents by customers or by store and mall employees during his time at the mall,” officials told Global News in an email.
Officials said they were shocked by the news and offered their condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
A police source told Global News he has two children.
His online persona shows a well-travelled, social man who just three years ago participated in the ALS bucket challenge.
A look at his Facebook friend list shows he’s connected to Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam, another man who went missing in 2010.
Police also said he had a sexual relationship with one of the alleged victims, Kinsman, and both he and the victims used dating apps.
The bodies of the victims haven’t been found, but police said they discovered key evidence on Wednesday.
“We believe he’s responsible for the deaths of other men who have yet to be identified,” Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said.
“It’s a media definition for serial killer. I’m telling you he’s killed two people that we know of and we believe there are more victims, so whether you want to attach that label or not, it’s up to you,” Idsinga said.
WATCH: Security expert comments on suspected Toronto serial killer being charged
Security expert Ross McLean spoke with Global News about the similarities in the case.
“The motive is always important – we don’t have a lot of information here … when you look at serial sexual predators who are killers, they tend to have the same habits. They do the same things over and over again,” McLean said.
“So these are all things that come together, and hopefully the police, in their investigation, will find similar evidence that this alleged killer may have done that they can tie all these cases together, and perhaps even more cases than the two cases already put out.”
Meanwhile, police said late last year that Esen and Kinsman’s disappearances weren’t believed to be linked, but that they weren’t ruling anything out either.
Police encouraged residents with any information to contact police at 416-808-2021 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
*with files from Nick Westoll