Tuesday 24 April 2018

Alleged Canadian serial killer charged with sixth murder

The latest murder charge involves 40-year-old Skanda Navaratnam, who went missing in 2010.

Police vehicles are parked outside a property in Toronto where officers recovered the remains of at least six people from planters (Rob Gilles/AP)
Police vehicles are parked outside a property in Toronto where officers recovered the remains of at least six people from planters (Rob Gilles/AP)

By Rob Gillies, Associated Press

Canadian police have charged an alleged serial killer with another murder, bringing the total to six.

Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said the remains of three of the six victims have been identified, and there could still be other charges made.

“I believe there will be,” he said.

The remains were found at a property that alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur used as storage for his landscaping business.

McArthur was arrested on January 18 on two counts of murder in connection with the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44, who were last seen in 2017 in a Toronto neighbourhood known as the Gay Village.

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From left to right, Selim Essen, 44, Sorush Mahmudi, 50, Dean Lisowick, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Majeed Kayhan, 58 (Toronto Police Service via AP)

Police identified Mr Kinsman’s remains through fingerprints.

Not long after his arrest, McArthur was charged with the murders of three more men: Soroush Marmudi, Majeed Kayhan and Dean Lisowick.

Little is known about Mr Marmudi, a 50-year-old reported missing by his family in 2015.

Mr Kayhan was a 58-year-old Afghan immigrant who was reported missing by his son in 2012, and Mr Lisowick was a homeless prostitute in his mid-40s.

The latest murder charge involves 40-year-old Skanda Navaratnam, who went missing in 2010.

Friends said McArthur employed and had a sexual relationship with Mr Navaratnam, who was last seen in 2010 leaving Zipperz, a now closed gay bar.

McArthur’s Facebook profile also showed he was friends with Navaratnam.

There's hundreds of outstanding missing persons occurrences that we're looking at Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga

Police said they identified the remains of Mr Marmudi and Mr Navaratnam, who was a refugee from Sri Lanka, through dental records.

They believe there are multiple murder scenes, including McArthur’s apartment.

Authorities have checked at least 30 other places where McArthur was known to have worked, including some of Toronto’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

They expect to find more remains in planters they have retrieved from around the city and are currently investigating about 20 containers in which plants are grown.

Police are also looking at a number of missing person cases to determine if there are connections to McArthur and are running down tips that have come in from around the world.

“There’s hundreds of outstanding missing persons occurrences that we’re looking at,” Mr Idsinga said. “We are tracing his whereabouts as far back as we can go.”

The 66-year-old McArthur is believed to have met his victims in the Gay Village and on gay dating apps for older and large men.

Edward Royle, a lawyer for McArthur, declined to comment on the case.

Mr Navaratnam’s disappearance was originally investigated as part of Project Houston, a police task force looking for him and two other men who went missing between 2010 and 2012: Mr Kayhan and Abdulbasir Faizi, 42.

Police have interviewed some of McArthur’s past known associates, but Mr Idsinga said evidence unearthed so far indicates he acted alone.

AP

Press Association

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