Toronto police ID dead man in photo linked to Bruce McArthur case
McArthur faces 7 counts of 1st-degree murder in the deaths of men who frequented Gay Village
Toronto police have identified the mystery man in a photo found on Bruce McArthur's computer during their investigation of the alleged serial killer.
In a rare move last month, police released the photograph of an unidentified deceased man believed by investigators to be another victim of the 66-year-old landscaper.
More than 70 potential identities had been submitted to them, police said Friday in a release. They identified the man on Thursday, but aren't yet releasing the name.
Meaghan Gray, a spokesperson for Toronto police, would not say Friday how the man was identified or where he was from. The lead investigator, Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, said earlier this week that the man may not be from Toronto.
Investigators will release more details, including potential further criminal charges, after the man's next of kin have been notified, Gray said.
A police source previously told CBC Toronto the image of the dead man was among a cache of pictures of alleged victims found on McArthur's computer. Idsinga has refused to confirm that information.
Nicki Ward, an LGBT advocate, helped retouch an image of the deceased man. That new image was front and centre at Wednesday's news conference at police headquarters.
Ward said she's relieved police finally know who the man is.
"My immediate response was 'thank heavens,'" Ward told CBC Toronto.
She said she's hopeful the breakthrough will restore some of the man's dignity.
"We can actually look at them like humans and represent them as they were in life," she said.
LGBT advocate Nicki Ward says she’s “grateful” to have played a role helping police release a “more human” photo of Bruce McArthur’s alleged victim. Police say they have now identified the previously unidentified man who is believed to be dead. <a href="https://t.co/0KrtmIcJxD">pic.twitter.com/0KrtmIcJxD</a>—@chrisgloverCBC
Charged in January
McArthur, 66, is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of seven men, most of whom were known to frequent Toronto's Gay Village.
In mid-January, McArthur was arrested and charged in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen. Kinsman, 49, went missing from Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood last June, while Esen, 44, was last seen in the Yonge and Bloor area a year ago.
Later in January, police charged McArthur with three additional counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, 58, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Dean Lisowick, 47. Police have said Kayhan went missing in October 2012 and Mahmudi in August 2015. Police said earlier this week that Lisowick was killed in April 2016.
In late February, McArthur was charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40. Earlier this week, he was charged in the death of Abdulbasir Faizi, 42, who went missing in 2010.
The search for evidence is slated to pick up in May as police get set to search 75 pieces of both public and private property with canine units, including a number of homes where McArthur did landscaping work.
This week, Idsinga said investigators have finished searching 20 planters seized from various locations around the city, with no additional remains found inside.
McArthur's Thorncliffe Park apartment is still being searched, he said.
Investigators are also reviewing cold case files dating back to the 1970s involving gay men who were killed in Toronto's downtown after leaving bars popular in the LGBT community.