'We don't want to create hysteria': WRPS assist Toronto's alleged serial killer case
WRPS gave Toronto investigators 17 missing persons files to assist with Bruce McArthur case
Waterloo Regional Police say they are collaborating with Toronto police in the investigation into accused serial killer Bruce McArthur but they don't want the community to be concerned about potential links to Waterloo region.
Local investigators told CBC News there are no links between McArthur — who has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of five men who disappeared from Toronto's Gay Village — and the open missing persons cases in Waterloo region, specifically the 2002 disappearance of Kitchener's David MacDermott.
"There is no information to suggest David MacDermott was involved in the investigation currently being conducted by Toronto Police," Waterloo Regional Police Service Insp. Mike Haffner said in an interview Thursday.
"We don't want to create hysteria on something that is completely inaccurate."
'Prudent' they look across Ontario
Haffner said Waterloo Regional Police have provided Toronto police with all relevant files about missing persons in the region as part of the investigation into McArthur.
He said they have also been in contact with the Ontario Provincial Police serial predator investigative unit, but maintained there are no current links between any of the cases.
Currently, WRPS is actively investigating 17 missing persons cases.
Haffner said investigators handed over those files because they believe it is "prudent" that Toronto police look across Ontario in a case like McArthur's.
Meaghan Gray, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Service, said in an email to CBC News Thursday their search "may very well take us outside of Toronto, but we will follow the evidence and work with other police services if/when the time comes."
As of Thursday, McArthur, 66, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Selim Esen, 44, Andrew Kinsman 49, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Dean Lisowick, 47.
All five men went missing from Toronto's Gay Village and their bodies have not been found. None of the charges have been proven in court.
MacDermott was reported missing in November 2002. The 30-year-old had been at Club Renaissance, a gay bar in downtown Kitchener.
It is not known if McArthur was active in Kitchener's gay community.
Haffner said the MacDermott case is still open and police will be actively investigating all possible avenues.
Remains of 3 people found
On Monday, investigators said they seized a dozen planters after searching through 30 properties where McArthur — a self-employed landscaper — may have worked.
After forensic analysis Toronto police said they discovered dismembered skeletal remains belonging to at least three people. They said it will take months for the remains to be identified.