Toronto police have taken the extraordinary step of releasing a photograph of the body of an unidentified man they say is a victim of alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur who has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder in connection to the deaths of missing men.
“We have utilized numerous investigative techniques to identify this individual and so far have been unsuccessful,” Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters at a press conference Monday morning.
“We have also shown the picture to numerous contacts within the community and have been unsuccessful. I do not want to release this picture and am doing so as a last resort.”
Idsinga did not reveal how police came into possession of the photograph but said it is an actual image and not a composite.
“It has been enhanced. It has been modified to remove some artifacts,” Idsinga said. “It’s a cleaned-up image but hopefully it’s accurate enough that someone will be able to recognize this gentleman.”
Police also announced on Monday that they have recovered a seventh set of human remains at a Toronto residence where McArthur did landscaping work and stored his supplies.
VIDEO: Police release photo of man they believe is 7th victim of alleged serial killer. Catherine McDonald reports.
McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, was charged with a sixth count of first-degree murder two weeks ago in connection with the death of 40-year-old Skandaraj Navaratnam.
Navaratnam’s dismembered remains were identified, along with Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Sorouch Mahmudi, 50, in planters at a property on Mallory Crescent.
Police said the remains of at least seven people were recovered from those planters and of those, four have yet to be identified. Investigators have yet to release the cause of death of the victims.
“I believe we have some evidence which would indicate the cause of death but it’s not something I’m going to get specific about right now,” Idsinga said.
VIDEO: Police have recovered remains of seven bodies in Bruce McArthur investigation
McArthur was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of Esen and Kinsman on Jan. 18. He was charged with three additional counts of first-degree murder on Jan. 29 in connection with the deaths of Mahmudi, Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Dean Lisowick, either 43 or 44.
Ontario chief forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Pollanen said a number of techniques are being used to identify the remains of the remaining victims including fingerprints, dental identification and medical records.
“As part of that whole process we also utilize DNA, but usually as a last effort based upon the more traditional techniques,” Pollanen said.
VIDEO: Doctor outlines process for investigating recovered bodies in Bruce McArthur investigation
Pollanen said the next step would be determining the cause of death and what happened to the victims.
“The third major objective is the use of forensic methods based on science and medicine to ascertain what happened to these people, specifically over three time frames,” Pollanen said.
“First, things that happened to them before they died. Things occurred or happened to them around the time of their death including how they died and those things that occurred to the bodies and remains in the post-mortem period.”
LISTEN: Catherine McDonald joins Tasha Kheiriddin on 640 Toronto
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 have not been proven in court.
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: Toronto police investigating tip from past neighbor of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur