Man who disappeared from Toronto's Gay Village 'led double life,' wife learned

The wife of one of three men whose disappearances launched an investigation now linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur says she learned from police months earlier that her missing husband led a double life and likely did not want to be found.

Divorce papers filed against Abdulbasir Faizi after police investigated his disappearance

Abdulbasir Faizi went missing in 2010. Faizi's disappearance along with those of Majeed Kayhan and Skandaraj Navaratnam led to the creation of Project Houston, an investigation now linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. (Toronto Police Service)

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  • Bruce McArthur has now been charged with the first-degree murder of Abdulbasir Faizi.

The wife of one of three men whose disappearances launched an investigation now linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur said she learned from police months earlier that her missing husband led a double life and likely did not want to be found.

Those details are included in court documents obtained by CBC News and filed by Kareema Faizi, who began divorce proceedings against her husband, 44-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi, after police investigated his disappearance.

Faizi, along with Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, and Majeed Kayhan, 58 would be the focus of Project Houston, set up in 2012 by police to investigate the three missing men, who had ties to Toronto's Gay Village and were of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent.

Two of them, Kayhan and Navaratnam, have since been linked to McArthur, who has been charged with first-degree murder in their deaths. McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, is also charged with the first-degree murder of four other men who had ties to the city's LGBT community.

Meanwhile, Faizi's whereabouts and fate remain unknown. Police said his last known location was in the Church and Wellesley street area of Toronto's Gay Village. 

Last, brief conversation

He and Kareema had been married since 1999 and they had two daughters. According to court documents, Kareema said she reported her husband missing shortly after their last, brief conversation on Dec. 29, 2010. She said that he told her he was at work with co-workers and would be home later that night.

When he never returned, she went to Peel Regional Police, according to police documents included with the divorce papers.

"She advised police that her husband has no enemies and no reason for anyone to want to kidnap him. He is not involved in any criminal activity and spends most of his time working or with family," according to the police documents.

Her husband had been happy, she told police, had been looking forward to going on vacation and gave no indication he was depressed or had suicidal thoughts.

As well, Kareema told police she had her husband's passport and that she didn't believe he had any credit cards.

She said the family was not undergoing any financial problems, though a bad deal a couple of years ago had forced her husband into bankruptcy. 

"She could not provide police with any information to believe foul play was involved. She is very concerned due to the fact that he called her and said he was on his way home and he did not show up," police wrote.

Days later, police discovered his 2002 Nissan Sentra abandoned on Moore Avenue, in the area of St. Clair Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road. It's the same area where McArthur stored his tools and where planters with the remains of his alleged victims were recovered.

Following discovery of his car, police took the family's computer as evidence.

Loved his kids

Kareema would soon learn from police, she wrote in court documents, that her husband was "living a double-life and having numerous extra-marital affairs with men unbeknownst to me."

"The investigators felt that he had abandoned his family and did not want to be found," she wrote.

She laid out in detail her attempts to locate her husband. She sent out emails and reached out to all his friends in Canada and abroad, none of whom knew of his other life, she wrote. His cellphone was disconnected shortly after he was last seen or heard from, she said.

This combination of photos shows the six men McArthur is charged with killing. Top row, from left to right: Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, Andrew Kinsman, 49, Selim Esen, 44. Bottom row, from left to right: Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Majeed Kayhan, 58. (CBC/Toronto Police Service)

She said she went to the Church and Wellesley area numerous times to try and locate him.

"All attempts to locate Abdulbasir have been futile," she wrote.

"I believe Abdulbasir Faizi has abandoned his family, including his children," she wrote. "I believe he is avoiding all responsibility to his family, both emotional and financial. He is avoiding completing a divorce and seeing and supporting his children."

She later initiated divorce proceedings to get custody of her two children.

A longtime friend of Abdulbasir's told CBC News that he had no idea about his double life and was unaware that his wife had filed divorce papers.

But he described his friend as a family man, very intelligent, funny and smart who loved his kids.

"The last time I spoke to him he was working overtime to make sure his kids get all the things that were on their wish list for Christmas," said the friend, who wished to remain anonymous so as not to upset the family.

He said he's not holding out much hope that his friend is still alive.

"Knowing him and how he was, I really don't think so, because he didn't look like the kind that he would disappear on his kids and abandon them."