Toronto police have seized planters from three more homes across the Greater Toronto Area, including one in Mississauga where it’s believed more human remains will be found.
The homeowner of a two-storey home on a quiet street in Mississauga, who only identified himself as Bill, told Global News he has known alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur for roughly 15 years. He said he can not remember how he met McArthur.
Bill said McArthur, who worked as a self-employed landscaper, has been doing gardening for him ever since and knew what police were looking for when they came knocking on his door. He said detectives took away a planter, but did not tell him why and did not say if they found anything.
“[McArthur] was very pleasant and you could never imagine that this is what he’d do and we’ve known him for 15 years,” said Bill.
Another homeowner, who lives near Yonge Street and St Clair Avenue West area, said he hired McArthur to maintain his flower pots when he and his wife bought their townhouse six years ago.
“We’re shocked that the person that we knew as little as we did would be an alleged serial killer of course we’re shocked and we’re saddened,” Vian Ewart told Global News.
“We understood the police had to visit and they had to bring cadaver dogs. We are clean and we’re extremely happy about that,” Ewart’s wife, Ellie Tesher, added.
Police sources told Global News a planter was seized from the property of the townhouse next door to Ewart and Tesher.
Meanwhile, a planter was also seized from a third home in the Moore Park neighbourhood.
These seizures come after a number of large planters that were recovered on Mallory Crescent where police said the dismembered remains of three unidentified bodies were found. Sources told Global News three torsos and other body parts were found in those planters.
Police have spoken to roughly 30 clients of McArthur, who had a landscaping business called “Artistic Design.” Investigators appealed for anyone who may have used McArthur’s services in the past to call them at 416-808-2021.
McArthur has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick and Soroush Mahmudi.
Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga announced on Monday that police found human remains at a Toronto home linked to the accused.
“Right now where we’ve recovered the bodies are from large planters and they’ve been hidden in the bottom of these planters,” Idsinga said.
“So we’ve seized quite a few planters from around the city and we’ll continue to do that. There are at least two sites that we do want to excavate where people might be buried.”
But the remains haven’t been identified yet, police said.
“They cannot be identified because they are skeletal remains and they have been dismembered, We have to wait for DNA tests and we have to get DNA tests from the people that are outstanding and their family members before we can identify those remains,” Idsinga said.
The charges against McArthur have not been proven in court.
— With files from David Shum and Nick Westoll