Police search 30 sites where suspect worked amid ‘unprecedented’ investigation after bodies found in large flower planters
Police in Canada have accused a Toronto landscaper of murdering at least five people and burying their remains in large flower planters on his clients’ properties, in a case that has sparked an “unprecedented” investigation.
“The city of Toronto has never seen anything like this,” Hank Idsinga of the Toronto police told reporters on Monday.
Bruce McArthur, 66, was arrested earlier this month and charged in connection with the presumed deaths of two missing men. On Monday, police added three more charges of first-degree murder, bringing the tally to five.
Police said they had found the dismembered remains of at least three victims in large planters on properties linked to McArthur. Forensic experts are carrying out DNA analysis in an effort to determine the identities of those found.
Another 30 or so sites where McArthur may have done landscaping work have been located and investigators are combing through them for clues as to whether there are other victims. “We do believe there are more and I have no idea how many more there are going to be,” said Idsinga.
He urged anyone who might have contracted McArthur’s landscaping services to contact police. “We’ve never seen anything quite like this with the number of crime scenes that we have to process,” said Idsinga. “We have seized quite a few planters from around the city and we will continue to do that. There are at least two sites that we do want to excavate where people might be buried.”
News of McArthur’s arrest came months after Toronto’s LGBT community began voicing concerns that a serial killer was targeting men in the city’s Gay Village after the disappearances of two men, Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. After saying in December that there was no evidence to support such a theory, police on Monday described McArthur as an alleged serial killer.
But they connected him to allegations that spanned the city. “It encompasses more than the gay community. It encompasses the city of Toronto,” said Idsinga.
Recent Christmas seasons had also seen McArthur, a self-employed landscaper, work as a Santa Claus at a Toronto mall. He had been hired through an event management company and there were no issues raised during his time at the mall, officials with the shopping centre told Global News.
Along with Esen and Kinsman, McArthur is accused of killing Majeed Kayhan and Soroush Marmudi. The men, all of whom were in their 40s and 50s, were reported missing between 2012 and 2017. Another alleged victim, Dean Lisowick, was never reported missing and is believed to have been killed in 2016 or 2017.
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