Woman believes her missing brother could be one of Bruce McArthur's alleged victims

Jon Riley went missing in May of 2013. His sister, Judi, believes he's a victim of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.

Investigators won’t comment on which missing persons cases they’re looking at

Jon Riley went missing in May of 2013. He usually wore a baseball cap, blue jeans and had blond/grey hair, according to a missing person poster. (Facebook/Finding Jon Riley)

As much as Judi Riley doesn't want to believe it, she's sure her brother, Jon, is a victim of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.

"All the pieces fit together. It's the only thing that really makes sense. He simply vanished. He went to Toronto for the weekend and he vanished," she told CBC Toronto.

Jon Riley was last seen in May of 2013, when he would have been 47 years old.

Although he lived in Meaford, Ont., at the time he disappeared, his sister said they both grew up in Toronto.

Jon often visited the city's homeless shelters and the Gay Village, although he wasn't gay himself, according to Judi. He'd also been visiting the city to find work in landscaping — the same job as McArthur.

A missing poster for Jon Riley is hanging in The 519 in Toronto, an LGBT community centre. (Facebook/Finding Jon Riley )

When Judi heard about the Bruce McArthur investigation, she said she was brought to her knees in grief.

"It's not the answer I want," she said. "If this was the end of the story, it was such a grotesque ending that I don't want it to be the ending … I don't want to know."

Ongoing investigation

McArthur, 66, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Selim Esen, 44, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, Dean Lisowick, either 43 or 44, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Majeed Kayhan, 58.

This combo of photos provided by the Toronto Police Service shows the five men Toronto landscaper Bruce McArthur is accused of killing, from left to right; Selim Essen, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Andrew Kinsman and Majeed Kayhan. Police say they are on a wide search for other possible victims. (Toronto Police Service/AP)

Most of these men are said to have connections with Toronto's LGBT community.

The remains of at least six people have been found hidden in planters at a Leaside property where McArthur stored equipment for his landscaping business.

Toronto police are seen outside a home on Mallory Crescent in Leaside earlier this month as they continue investigating the Bruce McArthur case. (James Morrison-Collalto/CBC)

As part of the case, Toronto investigators are looking at missing persons files as far back as the 1970s, when McArthur would have been in his twenties.

Judi said police told her they're looking at Jon's case as part of the investigation.

"They're saying very little, but my brother is on the list of possible victims."

Det-Sgt. Hank Idsinga sat down with CBC's The National to discuss details of the McArthur investigation - and why the case is unlike any he's seen before. (CBC)

In an email to CBC Toronto, lead investigator in the case Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga would not confirm whether they're looking at Jon's case.

"I won't comment on specific cases ... To do so would be unfair to the families who have already been victimized by the disappearance of their loved ones," he said.

Idsinga did say he hoped to have more information on the planter investigation — police have seized more than a dozen planters off properties where McArthur worked — by the end of the week.

'We're without a brother'

The only upside of this ongoing investigation, and grief, Judi said, is that people will pay more attention to Jon's photo, something she's wanted since 2013.

"For four-and-a-half years, no one has properly investigated."

The CBC's Fifth Estate featured Jon's story in a 2014 investigation. A year-and-a-half after his disappearance, they found Jon's information was never entered into the RCMP's national missing persons website.

"There was a critical time when there needed to be connectivity ... if he had been anywhere in Canada and something had happened to him, we would have been alerted," she said.

According to Judi, Jon often went on adventures to other countries. (Facebook/Finding Jon Riley)

Judi said up until this point, most people told her Jon must have chosen to go missing.

"My brother did not choose to disappear. He would not vacate my son's life. He wouldn't vacate my life," she said. "How can there be not one single clue, not one single person that recognizes his face? How can someone vanish?"

The fact Judi hasn't heard of any sightings or tips on Jon's whereabouts brings her closer to her conclusion: her brother's case must be connected to the McArthur probe.

"I have stacks and stacks of postcards, hand-written letters from all over the world from all of my brother's trips," she said. "I know his adventures. He does not disappear without contacting me."

A selection of letters Judi, who also goes by Jaye, received from Jon when he travelled. (Facebook/Finding Jon Riley)

The only other possibility Judi is willing to consider is that Jon had an accident and lost his memory.

"Whether it was at the hands of a serial killer or not, we're still without a brother. We're without a brother and we're without answers," she said.

"He's not in our lives and we don't know where he is and it's a horrible feeling."

With files from Jasmin Seputis