Alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur now charged with deaths of 6 men
Investigators have identified the latest victim as 40-year-old Skandaraj Navaratnam. He was one of three missing men from the city’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood who authorities had been looking for as part of Project Houston back in 2012.
The investigation into the missing men concluded in 2014 when leads in the case dried up.
Police said Navaratnam was last seen on Sept. 6, 2010, and was reported missing 10 days later by a close friend. He was found to be listed as a friend on McArthur’s Facebook page.
WATCH: Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur charged in death of Skandaraj Navaratnam. Catherine McDonald reports.
McArthur, a 66-year-old 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 Jan. 29, 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.
Toronto police said the remains of at least six people were recovered in planters at a property on Mallory Crescent, where McArthur performed landscaping work and stored supplies. A set of remains were confirmed to belong to Kinsman, Mahmudi and Navaratnam. Three others have yet to be identified.
“The first individual was identified through fingerprints. The next two were identified through dental records and DNA analysis is still outstanding on the remaining three sets of remains,” Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters at a press conference on Friday morning.
VIDEO: Bruce McArthur investigators reviewing ‘sudden death’ missing persons cases
Idsinga said investigators have gone through upwards of 20 planters at the Mallory location and are interested in two or three other properties in the Greater Toronto Area.
“We’ve been through all of the planters that were seized. We haven’t found any other remains. That’s not to say we’re done with the examination at Mallory,” Idsinga said.
“We would like to go back there when the weather warms up a little bit and see if the dogs have any further success.”
Investigators said they believe there are more victims and that more charges could be laid.
Idsinga also said police are looking back at unsolved murders, missing persons and sudden death cases to see if there is any connection to McArthur.
“We’re looking at sudden death cases. I wouldn’t say that they’re being considered murders yet,” Idsinga said.
“Sometimes we’re looking at them and the answers are very obvious as to what happened in that occurrence and we’re passing that on to the families.”
Michael Cottrell said Friday’s announcement has had an impact as he knew Navaratnam and Kinsman.
“I was waiting for it because I’ve been saying that all of those men are linked back to Bruce, especially because [Navaratnam] was on Bruce’s Facebook page as a friend so there was a connection,” he told Global News.
“I was relieved that at least he’s been named. There are three others who haven’t been named, so at least he’s been named and there’s a finality to it.”
Cottrell said he and Navaratnam knew each other intimately. He said he liked Navaratnam and remembered their time together.
“He was a cool guy, very friendly — easy to connect with,” Cottrell said.
A source told Global News that McArthur, who police had identified as someone who may have been involved with the disappearance of Kinsman back in September 2017, was arrested after officers witnessed a man going into his Thorncliffe Park apartment on the morning of Jan. 18.
Fearing for the man’s safety, officers kicked down the door and placed the alleged serial killer under arrest.
The charges against McArthur haven’t been proven in court. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 28.
Investigators did not reveal where the homicides were committed and only said that they took place at multiple murder scenes.
“There may be more charges laid. I believe there will be and I have not evidence to tell me that anybody else was involved in this,” Idsinga said.
Anyone who retained McArthur to do landscaping work or has information has been asked to contact the Toronto police team dedicated to the investigation at 416-808-2021 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
VIDEO: Bruce McArthur’s alleged victims identified by dental records
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