“We have had people who have come to Toronto in the past and they’ve called us and passed on some information that we’re following up on,” Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
He said he couldn’t get into the specifics of the reports, but said it’s a possibility some of the people may have dated McArthur.
When asked if police feared there are bodies in other places or if there are people who travelled to Toronto and didn’t return home, Idsinga said, “Both situations would be something we would be looking at.”
McArthur, a self-employed landscaper, was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman on Jan. 18 following a months-long probe into missing persons cases. On Monday, police said McArthur was charged with three more counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick and Soroush Mahmudi.
Idsinga spoke with the media outside of a home on Mallory Crescent on Wednesday, a residence where police said McArthur stored landscaping supplies. He said police recently seized planters from the property and that two contained dismembered human remains of at least three people. Since Saturday, Idsinga said officers have been visiting multiple locations where they have received reports to check out planters. In all, he said there are over 30 locations identified.
Officers have been at the Leaside home around the clock checking for evidence. On Wednesday, police were checking the basement as a part of the search. In the backyard, Idsinga said investigators have identified areas where the ground was disturbed.
“We’re looking at areas in the backyard where the canine units have indicated to us and we also had a ground penetrating radar here,” he said, adding a large tent has been erected with heaters operating continuously to thaw the ground.
Idsinga said a forensic anthropologist will be brought in and they will have to dig the ground by hand so as not to destroy any potential evidence. He said investigators hope the dig will begin at the end of this week or the start of next week, adding they anticipate they’ll be at the house for another week and a half.
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Police said they have attended multiple properties associated with McArthur. Idsinga said investigators continue to search McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment and said they will likely be there for some time as they process evidence.
Meanwhile, Idsinga said he has met with members of Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village community. He said based on discussions he has had to date, he believes some of the ongoing safety concerns have been addressed.
“We think we’ve got the right guy and hopefully we’ve put this to rest,” Idsinga said.
“Obviously there’s a court process that has to be followed through, but I haven’t gotten that feedback that there’s a lingering sense of fear.”
Anyone who retained McArthur to do landscaping work or has information is being asked to contact the Toronto police team dedicated to the investigation at 416-808-2021 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
The charges against McArthur have not been proven in court. He is scheduled to appear again in court on Feb. 14 through video link.