Police have been searching several properties throughout the Greater Toronto Area connected to Bruce McArthur, a Toronto man accused of first-degree murder in the cases of two men who vanished from the city's Gay Village last spring.
McArthur, 66, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, whom police now believe are dead.
Police believe McArthur is responsible for the deaths of other victims, and are searching a total of five properties with connections to the accused — four in Toronto and one in the small community of Madoc, Ont.
On Saturday, forensic units could be seen scouring the two-car garage of a home on Mallory Crescent in the area of Bayview and Moore avenues. Police removed several plastic crates and bins, along with a grey suitcase. A hacksaw was also removed.
On Friday, police forensics vehicles, a canine unit and at least three detectives searched a three-bedroom home in Scarborough in connection with the ongoing homicide investigation.
The house located at 227 Conlins Rd., near Highway 401 and Morningside Avenue, has been owned by Patricia and Brendan Horan since 2004. The couple also own a property police have been searching in Madoc, Ont., a township about 220-kilometres east of Toronto.
While McArthur lives in a high-rise apartment in Toronto's Thorncliffe neighbourhood and doesn't own the properties, several neighbours at both told CBC News he is a longtime friend of Brendan Horan's brother, Roger, and both worked as landscape gardeners.
Madelon Gardea, who lives nearby, explained the news of the probe hit too close to home. She told CBC News she was in "shock and disbelief" that McArthur, who she describes as "personable and genuine" is accused of murdering two of Toronto's missing gay men.
"It's a little disturbing thing because you think you're a good judge of character, but when you find out something like that you question," she said.
Several neighbours explained McArthur and Roger frequented the two residences together.
Yusuf Bulbulia, who also lives near the Scarborough home, said his roommate saw Roger there as recently as Thursday.
"He's been very quiet," Bulbulia told CBC Toronto, adding the house was under renovations for most of the summer.
Real estate listings reveal the Horan family sold the home last month, but the new owners have yet to take possession. The property is estimated to be worth more than $1-million.
Meanwhile in the two days since McArthur was arrested, neighbours at Bredan Horan's rural home in Madoc, located at 2598 Cooper Rd., said there has been a flurry of police activity at the nine-acre property.
"Just to think about it, I get shivers," said Joanne Irvine who lives two doors down.
"I just hope they find something here to bring some closure to the families."